Fiji: Over 200 people arrive on first flight from Sydney

By RNZ.co.nz

More than 200 people were on the first flight to Fiji today after the country reopened to vaccinated travellers.

Fiji has been shut to tourists since March last year.

The Fiji Airways aircraft from Sydney landed at Nadi Airport this afternoon.

Australian tourists arriving in Fiji
Australian tourists arriving in Fiji Photo: Lice Movono

Flight purser Sua Taubale said they have been waiting 6-hundred and 15 days for this moment.

“It was an overwhelming experience. It was a warming feeling to actually see all our passengers. onboard. We are just grateful to see everyone.”

Sua Taubale said she’s looking forward to the coming days as more tourists arrive.

More than 800 people on four flights are expected to arrive in Fiji today.

The head of Tourism Fiji said it’s been an emotional day for workers in the country.

Brent Hill said it has been a long awaited day that brought many emotions to a lot of stakeholders.

Fiji Airports Christopher Chand said a lot of work has gone into preparing the Fiji’s International Airport at Nadi.

“Today’s a very important and a special day for everyone in Fiji because alot of livelihoods and hearts are attached to the aviation and tourism industry and as you can imagine it’s you know very important for us. Exciting day. Everyone is just buzzing with excitement. You can just feel the bula spirit around you”, he said.

Nadi

There’s a hive of activity in Fiji’s western town of Nadi today.

Our correspondent in Fiji, Lice Movono, is in Nadi to check out what all the fuss is about.

“People are moving around. A lot more shops are opening. The motels and hotels that support the local industry is functioning again. There is traffic on the road again. People are excited.

There’s a cautious aptimism in the air. People are aware of this new variant [Omicron]. But I think for the most part Fijians are just happy to be able to go back to work.”

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