Nadi International Airport Officially Opens to High Acclaim

karryon_fiji_airport-1000x520Traditional culture blended effortlessly with a sleek contemporary feel as guests were wowed by the monumental opening of the new jewel in Fiji’s crown.

The pride surrounding the FJD$129 million major refurbishment of Nadi International Airport was palpable at Monday night’s opening celebration.

Esteemed dignitaries including Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum joined 500 guests at the event that marked the official opening of the airport that the Prime Minister touted as “worthy of Fiji’s status as the hub of the Pacific…a symbol of a modern, progressive nation. A nation on the move”.

Reaching practical completion in April 2017, the new airport was designed specifically to improve passenger experience through facilities that cater to the demands of the more discerning travellers responsible for Fiji’s booming tourism industry. 2.18 million international visitors are expected to visit in 2018.

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“We now have the airport terminal that Fiji needs and deserves to support the growth of tourism in Fiji to a $2.2 billion industry, which is our goal by 2021.”

Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji Prime Minister

These upgraded facilities include a new air conditioning system, an additional baggage carousel in the larger Arrivals Terminal, expanded immigration area, brand new Airline Lounges and a Government Lounge and a children’s play area in the Departure Lounge.

Other features include a smoker’s Lounge, an increase in ceiling height by eight metres, a non-denominational Prayer Room, new car park facilities, free wi-fi, additional duty-free outlets, offices for tour operators and a covered walkway from the airport to the bus stop.

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Executive Chairman and CEO of Fiji Airports Faiz Khan acknowledged the hard work of his team and contractors during the challenging development that was undertaken whilst the airport remained in full operation.

With no master plans available to them, the team were forced to fix problems as they found them including uneven floors and uncertainty surrounding structural integrity of the building.

This hard work has been globally recognised, with the Skytrax World Airport Awards listing Nadi International Airport as sixth in the World’s Most Improved Airport category in March. It is also the first airport in the Pacific to receive Airport Carbon Accreditation as a result of more efficient energy systems.

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Members of the Fiji Airports team

“It is another sign of Fiji’s commitment to reduce its carbon emission which, while we are only a tiny carbon emitter by global standards, reinforces the commitment we are making and that we are seeking from the rest of the world.”

Voreqe Bainimarama, Fiji Prime Minister

There are still more development projects in the pipeline for Fiji Airports however, including the building of an extended runway for Nausori Airport, the lengthening of the runway on Rotuma in July, the installation of lights at Labasa Airport to allow night landing and the plans to construct a new terminal within the next decade to accommodate the expected continual and exponential growth in tourism.

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Fiji Airways Lounge

“Airports today are a theatre of dreams, providing a smorgasbord of entertainment and shopping experiences…and we have built you a world-class airport,” Khan told guests.

“I hope this airport represents everything that is good about Fiji.”

Words: Natalie Kessell

Originally published on KarryOn 

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