Flying on FijiTime with Fiji Airways

October 12, 2016

 

Introduction
Bula! When Fiji Airways began direct flights from Nadi to Singapore, it was an exciting opportunity to sample the product and services of this South Pacific carrier, besides the point of a much-desired getaway to a faraway island paradise!

I was able to purchase a return ticket at a promo fare of ~USD600 which I thought was pretty decent. Flying time from Singapore to Nadi (and vice versa) was approximately 10 hours, with the following schedule:

Fiji Airways flight FJ361 SIN-NAN

Departs Singapore (SIN) 10:15am (UTC +08)

Arrives Nadi (NAN) 00:20+1 (UTC +12)

 

Fiji Airways flight FJ360 NAN-SIN

Departs Nadi (NAN) 23:00 (UTC +12)

Arrives Singapore (SIN) 04:55 (UTC +08)

 

The aircraft

The Airbus A330-200 operating for this flight is configured with 24 Business Class seats and 249 seats in Economy Class. Fiji Airways operates 3 Airbus A330-200s, which are all named after Fiji islands: Island Of Taveuni (DV-FJT), Island Of Namukalau (DV-FJU), and Island Of Yasawa-i-rara (DV-FJV). Awesome right?

The Flight

Upon boarding, I was welcomed by the distinct island feel with soft instrumental music playing in the background and smiling flight attendants proudly donning their Fijian culture-inspired uniforms (Bula shirts for guys and sulu jaba - a traditional ladies wear, for ladies). The ladies also wear a flower in their hair - a hair ornament that is unique and so different from other airlines. That instantaneously created an impression of island hospitality for me.

 

Seat and Comfort

In Economy Class, seat pitch is between 31-32 inches, with a 7.5 inch recline for passengers wanting to lean back for a snooze. A small pillow and a blanket is provided on each seat for passengers' comfort. Dental kits are packaged together with the entertainment headset. The cabin crew set a beautiful deep bluish mood lighting during the night flight, creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere onboard to help passengers to rest.

The Crew

The cabin crew are a mix of ages and genders. It was an all-female crew working in Economy Class on my flight to Fiji and on the flight back, there are two young guys working at the rear. The cabin crew are polite and hospitable, and look very cheerful as they serve the passengers. "Vinaka" - the Fijian word for "thank you" is used all the time by the cabin crew to their passengers - a lovely expression of Fijian hospitality. I also noticed call bells are answered very promptly and the cabin crew try their best to accommodate passengers' requests. One flight attendant forgot about my request for beer but made up for it by asking me if I still wanted it later during the flight. I notice they take inflight safety seriously as well. Blankets and pillows are religiously collected and stowed in the overhead compartments before landing (and to a lesser extent, before take-off) as they are loose items that may impede a safe evacuation, if required.

 

The Entertainment

Fiji Airways Airbus A330-200 offers audio-on-demand entertainment in Economy Class. Every seat has its own 10.6 inch touchscreen, for each passenger's entertainment. There is a decent selection of recent blockbusters and not-so-recent popular flicks, as well as films in Hindi, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Though not extensive, there is a good variety of genres and I managed to find a couple of movies that got me glued to on both my 10 hour long flights. In-seat power (USB port and AC power ports) are available.

The Meals

I wouldn't say the meals are the highlight on Fiji Airways (at least in Economy Class). Meal presentation is well... meh. To add to the unappealing meal presentation, a cheap-looking plastic cup is used for the side dish, with a messy array of cheese/biscuit/chocolate/butter/condiments to fill up the tray. To give due credit, the main courses did taste better than they look. However, the noodle dish was very salty on the flight from Nadi. It is nice that for one of the two meal services on each flight, there are 3 choices of main course offered to the passengers (including a vegetarian option). It would be really helpful though if flight attendants could also relay some information about the carb portion to the passengers, rather than merely asking "chicken, beef or vegetarian?"

Wines and beer, as well as spirits (though not actively offered) are available in addition to juices and soft drinks. There is a choice of Fiji Gold or Fiji Bitter. Having tried both, I do recommend Fiji Gold for a smoother and less-bitter taste. It is great that Fiji Water is served on Fiji Airways. Great to keep oneself well-hydrated onboard Fiji Airways on the local natural spring water!

Summary

Fiji Airways provides a comfortable product onboard and service is polite and friendly. Entertainment is pretty decent, however, meals were quite a let-down. I would strongly recommend flying Fiji Airways for your Fiji holiday as the Fiji Airways Fijian-inspired onboard product would put you nicely in the mood for FijiTime, even before you arrive for your perfect island getaway.

 

Vinaka. Thank you for reading this Fiji Airways flight review.

 

Please find the full and detailed reviews of my flight experiences with Fiji Airways below.

 

Fiji Airways flight FJ361 from Singapore to Nadi

Fiji Airways flight FJ360 from Nadi to Singapore

 

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