Investment in new aircraft, products and services key result-drivers

Nadi, Fiji – Air Pacific Ltd., which rebranded to ‘Fiji Airways’ just over three weeks ago, today announced its financial results for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2013 (1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013).  Mr. Nalin Patel, Chairman of Board of Directors of Air Pacific Limited Trading as Fiji Airways, said that the airline and its consolidated group (Air Pacific Group) both made operating profits. (Air Pacific Group comprises Fiji Airways, its wholly owned subsidiary Pacific Sun, and a 38.75% stake in the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa on Denarau Island). Fiji Airways had another record breaking year in terms of its revenue and passenger numbers.

  • Fiji Airways reported a profit before income tax of $18.0m, compared to a profit before income tax of $16.5m for 2011/12. Excluding prior period adjustments, Fiji Airways delivered an underlying profit before income tax of $9.5m.
  • Air Pacific Group reported a profit before income tax of $22.4m, compared to a profit before income tax of $14.2m for 2011/12. Excluding prior period adjustments, Air Pacific Group delivered a profit before income tax of $13.4m.

On a net basis, Fiji Airways reported an after tax profit of $14.1m and Air Pacific Group reported an after tax profit of $17.8m (versus after tax profits of $11.4m and $10.7m respectively for 2011/12). In addition, and before any further increase in the size of its fleet, Fiji Airways increased annual revenue by $13.8m compared to 2011/2012, and by $104.3m compared to FY2010/2011. The airline also carried 14,167 more passengers than in 2011/12, and 99,649 more passengers than in 2010/2011.

Mr. Patel attributed the airline’s decrease in underlying operating profit this year to the floods in April 2012, Cyclone Evan in December 2012, expenditures related to rebranding the airline, and costs related to preparation for induction of its airline’s new fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft.

“Given that we initially expected to make a loss during this transition year, wherein we are exiting our older B747s and inducting our first ever owned A330 wide-body aircraft, I’m quite pleased with our results for 2012/13,” Mr. Patel said. “These results handily beat our business plan, and I continue to be thrilled with the successful turnaround of Fiji’s national airline. Credit for this must be given to our dedicated and hard-working employees.”

“Just three short years ago we experienced the biggest loss in our history, so a second year of sustained operating profit is a good result. Our focus is now on inducting our new A330s and expediting efficiencies in our fleet and schedule this year.”

Mr. Patel added that confidence in the airline’s business plan was underscored by the support of German banks KfW IPEX-Bank and Helaba, who are financing the airline’s brand new A330 aircraft, backed by the Export Credits Guarantee Department of the British Government (ECGD).

“We have consistently stated that our restructure and turnaround plan is an on-going process, and we are still not done yet. Our team knows that there is a lot of hard work and commitment required to see the changes through to completion. Our plan is to build a platform to be sustainably profitable and to allow our staff, shareholders and the entire country to benefit from our success.”

“We remain ever mindful of the possible challenges posed by market uncertainty, a slowdown of major world economies, and the ever-present threat of further volatility in oil prices. Just three weeks ago we re-launched Air Pacific as Fiji Airways and we are thrilled by how well our rebranding efforts have been received both here in Fiji and abroad. We have always felt we are a small airline which punches well above its weight, and public and customer reactions to our new planes and new branding are proving us right. With brand new aircraft, new on board features like angled lie-flat beds, state of the art Panasonic in-flight entertainment, and a new Fijian service proposition, our customers will definitely have the best flying experience in the South Pacific.”