If you’ve ever been to Fiji, then you know how special a place it is. I always tell people that Fiji has the friendliest people in the world — especially on the outer islands. And if you traveled to Fiji from North America, then chances are you flew Fiji Airways, or Air Pacific as it was formerly known, since they are the only carrier to fly nonstop. Fiji Airways doesn’t have much competition unless you fly via Australia or New Zealand.

Fiji Airways originally started flying on September 1, 1951 and has gotten rid of their old 747s and replaced them with a fleet of 21 aircraft, including Airbus A350s, Airbus A330s and Boeing 737s.

I’ve been fortunate to travel to Fiji three or four times but it’s been well over a decade since my last visit and I’m looking forward to flying on their A350 (photo below). I’m in the early planning stages of a trip to take my kids later this year but I remember my first flight vividly and how nice the service, was which included bottled Fiji water in economy.

Today, oneworld announced that Fiji Airways is to become its 15th full member airline. This is great news for American Airlines frequent flyers since Fiji Airways is the flag carrier of Fiji and the South Pacific.

For the past six years, they’ve been a oneworld connect partner. According their website, that meant: “Customers with Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby status in any oneworld member airline’s frequent flyer programme will be able to use priority check-in desks, where available. Also, customers with Emerald or Sapphire status will be offered priority boarding.”

According to the joint press release, Fiji Airways’ transition to full membership will commence immediately and will be completed within the next 12 months.

oneworld CEO, Nat Pieper, said: “It’s a very warm bula, or hello, to Fiji Airways as we welcome them as our 15th full member airline in the oneworld alliance. Fiji Airways is already part of the oneworld family, as we have had a highly successful relationship since the airline joined as a oneworld connect partner five years ago. With its tremendous growth, award winning product and services, and acceleration of connections with all oneworld member airlines, Fiji Airways will strengthen our position as the premier airline alliance for international global travellers.”

The CEO of Fiji Airways, Andre Viljoen, added: “I am extremely proud to announce our full membership in the award-winning oneworld alliance, marking a significant step in our commitment to providing unparalleled service and connectivity. As a full member airline, we are excited to enhance the travel experience for oneworld alliance frequent flyers, offering greater accessibility to Fiji and the South Pacific, and ensuring seamless connections and memorable journeys for Fiji Airways customers across the alliance network.”

Unfortunately, for me I don’t think their full transition will be in time for my trip. But as a full “oneworld member airline, Fiji Airways will provide oneworld Emerald, Sapphire, and Ruby customers with a full suite of oneworld benefits including earning and redeeming miles, earning status points, priority check-in and boarding and lounge access. Likewise, Fiji Airways’ top tier customers will be able to gain access to all oneworld priority benefits including a network of nearly 700 business and First class lounges globally, as well as newly opened oneworld branded lounges in Amsterdam’s Schiphol and Seoul’s Incheon Airports.”


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