PHOTO: Fiji Airways has made some big announcements lately. (Courtesy Flickr/Roderick Elme)
On Wednesday, Fiji Airways announced a record-breaking profit for 2016.
On Thursday, the airline announced it was ready to share the rewards.
Fiji Airways is set to increase service to the U.S. with connecting year-round service to Australia and New Zealand. Following a successful first year in which Fiji offered direct, non-stop seasonal service out of a gateway other than Los Angeles, the airline will now begin year-round, non-stop flights from San Francisco International starting June 1, 2017.
Beyond its June through December twice-weekly service, Fiji will now offer new off-peak service once weekly on Thursdays from January through May, and in November from SFO.
In the high season, the carrier will introduce an additional Tuesday evening flight, from June 20 to August 8 and December 12 to 19 to grow its service to three times weekly over its largest demand period from SFO.
Fiji Airways is in a unique position to make such an expansion. The carrier is the only international airline that offers roundtrip, non-stop services from the US to Fiji and the increase of tourism from America made it a no-brainer.
Fiji Airways reported a record profit of $84.5 million (Fijian Dollars) for the year ending December 31, 2016, an increase of 20.5 percent compared to 2015 with a total of 1.4 million passengers flown, compared to 1.3 million in 2015. Tourists from the US accounted for just over 27 percent of total point-of-sales revenue in 2016.
"This is a fantastic result, as we record another year of growth in reported profit. This strong performance is a true testament to the tremendous work done by our team, responding strongly to the challenges we faced,” Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO, said in a statement. "Last year was full of milestones achieved, culminating in the largest profit the airline has ever recorded. To achieve these results is nothing short of outstanding – in a year when we had the most devastating cyclone in our nation's history to slow down tourism and the launch of three new international routes."