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Fiji Airways inflight review

Fiji Premier Lounge
Fiji Premier Lounge

Fiji Airways business class review

Plane: A350

Melbourne to Nadi flight review with Fiji Airways

Route: Melbourne to Nadi

Kokomo Private Island
Image courtesy of Kokomo Private Island Fiji

Record numbers of Australians are travelling to Fiji for an island holiday in the sun, with Tourism Fiji data showing visitation to the South Pacific archipelago now surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Fiji Airways has responded to this surge in demand by expanding capacity by up to 30,000 seats a month across its network. With new aircraft acquisitions, a premier business class product and an innovative resort check-in process, Fiji’s national airline makes a strong claim for being the leader in comfort, convenience and service, ensuring your holiday starts before you even arrive.

Sydney to Fiji and Fiji to Vancouver

Size matters

Fiji Airways
Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways is the only airline to fly wide-body jets between Australia and Fiji, and has recently welcomed two more brand new, energy-efficient A350-900 aircraft to its fleet. The jets service both the Sydney – Nadi and Melbourne – Nadi routes, alternating with smaller B737 and A330 aircraft, so it pays to check which type of aircraft is operating the flight when booking your ticket. With the A350 also operating the Nadi – Vancouver route, an island stopover in Fiji can now be built into an onwards itinerary to North America.   

Lie flat bed on Fiji Airways

Onboard comfort

Fiji Airways Business Class A350
Fiji Airways Business Class A350

The major advantage of flying business class on Fiji Airway’s A350 is getting to enjoy the luxurious lie-flat seat, something you won’t find on any other airline flying between Australia and Fiji. Five hours plus is a long time to be cooped up in a smaller plane with limited recline, so I greatly appreciate the chance to stretch out and grab a nap (you’ll be surprised how sleepy you feel when you have a lie-flat seat. A 1-2-1 configuration means every seat has direct aisle access, so there’s no awkward stepping over other passengers.

Jaunty, South Pacific music fills the cabin as I board, accepting a glass of Champagne and pineapple-scented hot towel from the ever-smiling cabin crew. The bone white and purple colour scheme establishes a relaxed, holiday mood, and the cabin is lit apricot-orange, like a Fijian sunrise.

A350 Business with Fiji Airways
A350 Business with Fiji Airways

 A pop-up tray in the console provides ample storage, and there’s a handy reading light behind my shoulder. Noise-cancelling headphones and water is found in a nifty armrest storage container. There’s no amenities kit provided on this relatively short hop to Fiji, but a blanket and pillow keeps me snug as I doze off post lunch service. On the down side I find the tray table a little high for the seat (I have to sit on my pillow to be at a comfortable height to eat or work) and the latch compartment for the power point and USB port can’t be accessed when the tray is down, so it pays to get yourself organised prior to meals being served. 

In-flight entertainment

Disney and HBO has recently been added to the in-flight entertainment (IFE), with more than 840 hours of entertainment now available, so you’re certainly not short of choice. There’s a wide selection of movies, and the audio menu features everything from Mozart concertos to meditation music and breathwork exercises, part of the airline’s new “wellness in-flight entertainment” option. Wi-fi is complimentary to business class guests. If there’s one major flaw it’s that the handheld remote control doesn’t communicate with the IFE screen in any coherent way, meaning I have to reach forward and make all adjustments on the touch screen (kind of like having to get off the couch to change the channel). I have the same issue on both flights and ask cabin crew for help on each occasion. I’m slightly relieved to find they’re as bewildered as me. 

Fiji Airways vegetarian menu

Cross-cultural dining

New Zealand chef Richard Cross has curated a modern menu with a uniquely Fijian flair. Breakfast on my return flight features the option of a pea and paneer curry with cauliflower and potato dosa, showing off the country’s Indian influence in its cuisine.

Business class cabin crew
Business class cabin crew

Denaru Island check in from the resort

Resort check-in

Fiji Airways has a revolutionary arrangement with major resorts in Denarau Island, Nadi, allowing passengers to check-in to their flight home before they even leave the resort. I’m staying at the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, which has a Fiji Airways check-in desk located adjacent to the lobby. On the morning of my departure I check in as I would at the airport, presenting my passport and receiving my boarding pass. My luggage is tagged and transported securely to the airport – the next time I see it is on the conveyer belt back in Melbourne. At Nadi Airport I head straight through to security and immigration. Why has no one thought of this before? The arrangement extends to the Sheraton, InterContinental and Hilton resorts, and is set to be rolled out at more. It’s a gamechanger.

Fiji Airways lounges

Lounging around

Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport
Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport

Fiji Airways is a Oneworld Connect partner, which affords business class passengers access to the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne and Sydney airports, plus the Qantas lounge in Canberra. Heading home you’ll be grateful for the sanctuary of the Premier Lounge in Nadi, given how crowded the main terminal area gets. Enjoy a true sense of peace in the dedicated quiet zones, or snuggle up in the cosy, cushion-dotted pods set into the walls. A hot buffet breakfast serves both Western and Fijian favourites, and the coffee is more than passable. There’s even a kids zone – Lailai Land – to keep the little ones entertained.

Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport
Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi International Airport

Flight frequency

Twice daily flights from Sydney; daily from Melbourne and Brisbane; twice weekly from Adelaide and thrice weekly from Canberra (A350 only operates from Sydney and Melbourne).  

Ricky French flew as a guest of the airline.

fijiairways.com/en-au


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