6/28/2013: Air Pacific Rebrands as Fiji Airways

This is the story of how Air Pacific went back to its roots, resurrecting its early name of Fiji Airways (FJ) as the carrier set about a whole rebranding.



June 28, 2023

DALLAS - Today in Aviation, Fijian flag-carrier Air Pacific was officially rebranded as Fiji Airways (FJ) in 2013.

The rebranding was announced by the airline's then-CEO David Pflieger in May 2012. The move to 'align the airline more closely with its a Fijian heritage' formed part of an entire restructuring as the airline looked to turn around its ailing fortunes

The new look coincided with the arrival of the airline's brand new Airbus A330s. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Back to Its Roots

It featured a full new livery, new branding, new inflight product and even new Flight Attendant uniforms, created by Fijian-based designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp. The updated branding saw the bright tropical colours of Air Pacific replaced with a traditional Masi symbol on a brown block background.

The move also coincided with the arrival of the airline's brand new Airbus A330s. The aircraft are configured in a two-class layout with 24 lie-flat business class seats and 249 in economy.

The airline teamed up with global brand experts FutureBrand who enlisted the help of Fijian Masi Artist, Makereta Matemosi to come up with the new look. Photo: FutureBrand.

Early Years

The airline can trace its history back to 1947, when it was established, as Air Fiji, by Australian aviator Harold Gatty.

In September 1951, operations were launched using a De Havilland Dragon Rapide, flying from Nausori Airport (SUV), to Drasa Airport near Lautoka.

The carrier was subsequently acquired by Qantas (QF) in 1957. QF still retains a 46% shareholding today. Indeed, with QF, the airline pioneered the code-sharing concept, whereby both carriers market a single flight.

The airlines first aircraft a de Havilland Dragon Rapide. Photo: Fiji Airways

Air Pacific

In 1971 Air Fiji became Air Pacific. This was to recognise how much the carrier had grown at the time and its vastly expanded network. It also was an attempt to establish the airline as a hub carrier, one that could represent the small island nations that would otherwise be unable to sustain a stand-alone carrier.

Pre-covid, the airline posted a profit increase of 9% to FJ$1.12bn compared to FJ$1.02bn for the previous financial year (2018).

Air Pacific's eye-catching livery, as seen on one of its Boeing 747s, was first introduced in 1985. Photo: contri, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Featured Image: The Airbus A350-900 was introduced to the fleet in November 2019. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways