Fiji Airways to begin direct flights to Canberra from July

Get ready for enthusiastic shouts of “Bula Canberra!” as the Pacific airline touches down in the Australian capital.

By David Flynn, April 14 2023
Fiji Airways to begin direct flights to Canberra from July

Fiji Airways is set to begin direct flights between Canberra and the Fijian gateway of Nadi in July, with the option for capital city flyers to head onwards to Los Angeles, San Francisco and even Vancouver.

Flights will initially run twice-weekly every Tuesday and Friday from July 21 to the end of September, stepping up to three times a week from October onwards, on a Boeing 737 MAX with eight business class recliners and 162 economy seats.

  • flight FJ950 will depart Canberra at 1.35pm to reach Nadi at 7.40pm
  • flight FJ951will depart Nadi at 9.15am to reach Canberra at 12.20pm

In our exclusive review of Fiji Airways’ Boeing 737 MAX business classExecutive Traveller found them well-suited to these short hops between Australia and Nadi thanks to a relaxing recline and room to stretch your legs, useful at-seat storage, HD video and inflight WiFi.

Fiji Airways' Boeing 737 MAX business class.
Fiji Airways' Boeing 737 MAX business class.

The Qantas partner and Oneworld Connect member will join officials from Canberra Airport and the ACT and Fiji governments later today, Friday April 14;  to mark the occasion, one of Fiji Airways’ Boeing 737 MAX jets will journey from Nadi to Canberra on Friday morning and return later that evening.

“Our services between Nadi and Canberra will also establish a convenient onward connection to North America, other South Pacific destinations and indeed the rest of the world,” says Fiji Airways Chief Executive and Managing Director Andre Viljoen.

“Travellers can also break up a long journey with a short stay in Fiji.”

The airline is clearly hoping to tempt ACT residents with a tropical getaway, especially as winter approaches.

Located on the western side of the main island of Viti Levu, Nadi serves as the primary gateway to Fiji and its many private islands, resorts and experiences.

The island nation is in fact made up of some 333 islands brimming with opportunities for exploration, adventure or relaxation, from diving and snorkelling amid pristine reefs to unwinding on deserted beaches with nothing but sand, sea and sunshine.

While Fiji Airways already flies to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, its debut in Canberra represents the welcome return of international services to the nation’s capital.

Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines flew directly to Canberra before the pandemic, and Canberra Airport and the ACT government have been lobbying for international airlines to put CBR back on the map.

for Canberra people flying to LAX, SFO, YVR, NRT or HNL via Fiji sure beats going via worst airport in Australia SYD & will probably be much cheaper. Can be worse things than a night or 3 in Fiji.

There was along talk a few months back in the media about a new U.S. city, possibly Dallas. DFW is a mega hub for AA & Dallas Love Field is Southwest HQ. Maybe fly into DFW, spend a night or more in Dallas (see where JFK was shot) & then fly out of either DFW or Love Field to almost anywhere in North or even South America or UK/EU using Qantas ff pts.

27 Nov 2016

Total posts 26

I was never tempted to use either SQ or Qatar services when they flew to Canberra.  Flights were so much cheaper and shorter times by flying to Sydney (or Mel) and then on.  I could leave CBR on QF, be enjoying the QF First lounge & Spa whilst the Qatar flight (that left before my QF domestic) was still sitting outside the Sydney lounge window - no thanks! And unless they make the Nadi times really connectable with the US onward flights and upgrade their planes, its unlikely Fiji Airways is attracting anyone but families or those wanting a long weekend in the warmth come July/August & I am sure there will be many.  I think it will do better than either SQ or Qatar but who would know?  From a freight perspective the flights to Singapore were amazing as they weren't subject to Sydney curfews but what Sydney passenger wants to sit at Canberra at midnight on the way to Singapore, that's presumably why SQ isn't coming back anytime soon.

12 Oct 2017

Total posts 8

Wow Janeblogs you’re clearly a big Qantas fan, as far as I know the Spa in the First Class Lounge in Sydney hasn’t been open for the past 3 years, so that’s not much of a selling point. I live in Canberra and recently looked at Business Class flights to New York on QF in August. At $17,000 return I think I’ll pass. I haven’t looked but I imagine Fiji might have a more reasonable option. Qantas has become way over priced and is over rated. The First Class Lounge in Sydney might be good but it’s not great. And and that’s the best thing they have going for them. I am looking forward to Fiji Airways coming to Canberra and to giving them a chance. 

27 Nov 2016

Total posts 26

@johnblom87  I agree with all that you say and as a QF P1 I definitely do fly them a lot. But I am not QF stupid!  I am also a Virgin P flyer so I spend a lot of time in the flying tin cans so I try to choose the most convenient & best priced options.  It has been impossible to fly with QF to the US for sometime (well on my budget anyway) but at peak time in December when QF flights were worse than gouging, I flew ex Auckland with AA to NY for under $7000 so it is definitely possible & I looked only today for a NY flight with QF and you are right, it is still impossible ($23,000) for me but the problem is ex Australia so I try to find other countries to hub at. My point about the lounge was not about it being great, it was about the time involved i.e.. I had flown in and out of Sydney and yet the Qatar flight was still sitting on the tarmac.  The last time I went to Fiji, Rabuka was the PM as well so its a long time but you're right, a weekend in Fiji in the warmth is hopefully a great option but not if the flight goes via Sydney or more expensive.

fiji air has the newest fleet across the pacific BY FAR. New B738 CBR/NAN/CBR. They just acquired another 2 x A350s. NAN/LAX/NAN has been A350s for a few years now, but from around middle of the year, NAN/SFO/NAN will also be A350s. Good connections at NAN, plus bonus stopover option in fiji. Fijis location means fares are almost always much cheaper than nonstops ex SYD (all nonstops virtually go over top of fiji)

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1249

I flew the SQ flight out of CBR and was great. I would do it again if it returned.  Not sure how one can get a quicker flight going via Sydney... But okay.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 26

Yeh I didn't quite get that comment either Hutch..... we used the SQ flight out of CBR too and found it fantastic - even with the Sydney stopover on the way back. Would love to see it come back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 30

For me as a Canberra resident, this is very welcome news.   I no longer have to take the 3 hour bus trip from Canberra to Sydney, or pay the expensive airfare add-on from CBR-SYD.    I flew the Nadi to Sydney sector back in February in standard economy and was very impressed with them.     Their standard of service was very good and much improved from years ago.  Fiji is a destination I like to visit in it's own right, but will also provide a good port to travel onto Vanuatu, Samoa or other points in the Pacific, and is also great if travelling onto the Americas.    I will not say no to a stopover in friendly Fiji, and beats having to do a domestic to international transfer in Sydney.    Freezing in a Canberra winter, this new service will be very tempting for many Canberra people to escape for a week or so in tropical paradise.    I think it will be very popular.     I can't understand why Qantas or other international carriers don't service Canberra internationally,  but am thrilled that Fiji Airways is now coming here. 

13 Apr 2020

Total posts 6

Could the plan include converting some of the direct Nadi to Melbourne flights with a Canberra stop?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 30

Public servants like a bit of island time as much as the next person, I guess...

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