Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Fiji Airways looks to latch on to NZ recovery in growth plan

Fiji Airways looks to latch on to New Zealand recovery in growth plans

By Paul McBeth

Jan. 10 (BusinessDesk) - Fiji Airways, the Pacific nation’s national airline, wants to latch on to New Zealand’s accelerating economy as part of a push to more than double operating earnings over the next five years.

The Nadi, Fiji-based company plans to add four new planes, lifting capacity by 35 percent and expand its workforce by 29 percent in the next five years as it seeks to build itself into a world-class boutique airline. New Zealand is a key plank in the strategy, with the airline aiming to boost capacity 59 percent by 2017 from its current 237,390 annual available seats.

Chief executive Stefan Pichler, who joined the airline last September, told BusinessDesk the company anticipates increased tourism spurred by New Zealand’s economic growth, and is considering increasing its Nadi-Auckland and Suva-Auckland routes, or introducing a new destination.

“We don’t intend on grabbing market share,” he said. “This plan is driven by underlying market analysis and growth forecasts of GDP growth, traffic growth between New Zealand and Fiji for the next couple of years.”

New Zealand government figures show annual short-term departures to Fiji climbed 3.8 percent to 110,060 in the year ended Nov. 30 from a year earlier, and were up 8.9 percent from 2011.

The strategic plan, which was signed off by the airline’s board in December, intends to lift available seat numbers on Asia routes by 144 percent, Pacific Islands by 87 percent, Australia by 28 percent and on domestic routes by 12 percent. Capacity on US routes is expected to fall 4.7 percent. The airline’s current capacity is almost 1.32 million.

Fiji Airways is targeting operating earnings of more than F$100 million from the five-year plan, a level Pichler said is more than double its current level, without being specific. The airline reported a net profit of F$17.8 million in the year ended March 31, 2013 on revenue of F$690.6 million.

Pichler said he aims to build the company’s brand, which officially switched to Fiji Airways in June last year, as it becomes “more customer-centric.”

“We need to be sustainably profitable and have a healthy cash flow to pay off our debts and fund new aircraft,” he said.

Fiji Airways underwent a turnaround under previous chief executive Dave Pflieger after sustaining losses from a burst of competition from the arrival of Australian budget carriers Jetstar and Virgin.

The airline intends to expand its workforce, beefing up the number of local employees, in a bid to be “the employer of choice for Fijians,” and Pichler says the targeted growth by almost a third is “digestible” by the country.

That includes reducing its reliance on expatriates, and Pichler said he wants to reverse the pilot ratio of locals to expats which is currently at one-third locals to two-thirds expats.

(BusinessDesk)


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news