Air Pacific to return to original Fiji Airways brand

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Air Pacific will revert to its old name of Fiji Airways as part of an ongoing restructuring strategy.

"Fiji Airways was the name of the airline between 1958 and 1970. The name was changed to Air Pacific in 1970 to reflect its greatly expanded regional presence. The new move will see the airline more closely aligned with its proud Fijian heritage and its role as Fiji's largest inbound and outbound airline," the carrier said in a statement.

The transition to the new brand will be completed by the end of 2013, added Fiji's national carrier. This is part of a series of initiatives followed an internal review of the airline's operations, it says.

As a result of the measures, the airline posted an operating loss of Fiji dollar (F$) 3.6 million ($1.97 million) in the 2010/2011 financial year, versus a loss of F$91.8 million a year before.

Other measures include a change to its schedules and network, as well as investment in new aircraft and its on-board product.

The three new Airbus A330-200 aircraft that the airline has on order will be the first to be painted in its new brand and colour scheme, it said.

In late March, Fiji's government passed a new law which allowed it to take greater operational control of the airline and its subsidiary Pacific Sun. This cut the management influence of Australia's Qantas Airways, which has a 46.3% stake in Air Pacific.