Fijian Aviation – Future Imperfect

by Christopher Kissling

Aviation and tourism are closely associated in the South Pacific. South Pacific Island Microstates built their tourism industries and grew their economies by capturing the benefits from early trans-Pacific airline operations that needed island waypoints for refueling. Later, advances in aircraft technology enabled non-stop trans-Pacific services. Faced then with prospects of marginalization from overflying by the major carriers, flag airlines of island microstates responded by themselves flying to the main Pacific Rim gateway airports, in the process boosting their visibility in key markets. A succession of military coups in Fiji hit their tourism image badly. A new generation of ultra long-haul aircraft may again place Fiji in a strategic position to boost its tourism economy if the inhibiting factor of military rule can be resolved.

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