23 January, 2022, 8:38 am Central - 28°C Rain

Fiji Airways first flight with Australian tourists arrives in Nadi

Fiji Airways first flight with Australian tourists arrives in Nadi

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 01/12/2021

People flocked to Sydney International Airport this morning to catch the first flight into Nadi in more than 20 months, with the plane touching down just before 11.30am today.

Fiji Airways will run 14 flights a week from Sydney and seven flights a week from Melbourne.

Fiji Airways says it has also added an additional measure at the airport - a declaration form for all travellers to declare where they have been in the past 14 days.

news.com.au reports travellers’ reasons for escaping to Fiji were mixed, with some going to see family they hadn’t seen for years, but plenty of others were getting away to celebrate their honeymoons, wedding anniversaries and babymoons.

Ravneet Prasad, originally from Fiji, said he was desperate to see his family after not being able to go home for more than two years.

He said he is going to visit family and friends, and he has missed them a lot.

Prasad said hopefully they will be back before anything happens as the Omicron variant is a bit up in the air. He said they have planned for a week and a half but they have not paid their return fare.

Newlyweds Samuel and Melissa Kares, who were married last Monday, said their dream had initially been to get away to the Maldives but Fiji was a worthy replacement.

They say they are very happy with Fiji.

The couple said they weren’t too worried about the Omicron variant - just about the potential risk of hotel quarantine.

Melissa says they are just hoping when they go back to Australia it’s not too difficult with the lockdown rules but they are pretty lucky because they can work from home.

Joel Fitzgibbon and his partner Trizzia Zuluaga were making a last dash overseas as a couple before their baby is born.

The couple had no idea they were on the first flight out, admitting they had jumped at the chance after seeing an ad for Fiji Airways on social media.

The couple are only going away for a week and aren’t worried about the Omicron variant.

Trizzia says they think they should be safe in Fiji. She says they there’s a lot of testing in Fiji so they will just have to keep up with the news.

Alex and Bella Epshteyn were off to Fiji to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary.

The couple said there was no point being worried about Omicron.

Most of the people news.com.au spoke with didn’t realise they were on the first flight to Fiji in more than 20 months, with many admitting they had simply jumped at the chance to get away.

Sofia Joseph, who was travelling with her 11-year-old son, said they are getting away for both a holiday and to see family.

She said they haven’t been on holidays since 2017 and since lockdown, they have worked so many hours.

Sofia said she works in the health sector so it’s a well-deserved holiday.

She said she had some fears about Omicron but their short trip meant she felt safe.

Australia became one of dozens of countries across the world to re-impose restrictions on international arrivals at the weekend after the variant of concern was identified in nine southern African nations.

All international arrivals not barred under new restrictions must isolate for 72 hours and await the results of a PCR test.

The federal government paused the arrival of foreign students, migrants and working holiday visa holders - meant to begin today - until December 15th.

News.com.au says it was feared Fiji would take similar action against Australia, however, Fiji has already taken plenty of steps to ensure it stays Covid-safe.

More than 90.6 percent of Fiji’s eligible population is fully vaccinated against coronavirus and all arrivals are required to be fully vaccinated and have returned a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their flight.

Tourists are also required to stay in a COVID-approved resort, where they will then undergo a rapid antigen test for coronavirus within 48 hours of their arrival into Fiji.

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