The Fiji government is doing all it can to protect Fiji Airways routes from bigger airlines when signing air service agreements, according to the local Civil Aviation Minister. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
This is to ensure the national airline is not cannibalised by foreign airlines, FBC reports.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the government has been very protective of Fiji’s code sharing agreement with other airlines and decisions are made after wide consultations.
“Countries that have adopted the Open Skies policy, invariably what happens is that the larger airlines actually come and cannibalise the local airlines and ultimately the local airlines will collapse and so we have been very protective of Fiji Airways from that perspective.”
The Minister revealed Fiji Airways is keen to fly to Beijing, China… but the Chinese have laid conditions wanting an onward right to pick passengers from Shanghai and Hong Kong on their way to Nadi.
He said similar offers have been made by Emirates Airline to fly from Dubai to Sydney and Nadi.
“They could do the Dubai-Sydney lane, we’re quite happy for them to do that but only if they code share but they could then fly people across for $50 and we can shut down the route between Nadi-Sydney for Fiji Airways. Then off course they can pull out whenever they feel like it. We’ll than have to restart it ourselves. So we have to be very clever and strategic in respect to how we allow code sharing in that respect.”
Sayed-Khaiyum said they recently signed an ASA agreement with Japan who gave up some of their onward rights.