Vancouver has certainly become popular with the announcement of new routes lately, with Air Canada launching both Vancouver-Osaka and Vancouver-Bangkok, as well as JetBlue launching the Vancouver-New York JFK.
In the latest announcement of good news for the city, a brand new airline will arrive in Canada for the first time via Vancouver: Fiji Airways.
Vancouver represents Fiji Airways ’first entry into the Canadian market, providing additional South Pacific connections for Canadians and Americans alike. Let’s take a look at the details.
Fiji Airways’ new Vancouver-River flight
Fiji Airways will start flights to Vancouver November 25, 2022, Operates flights twice a week. Flights will depart both Mondays and Fridays based on the following daily schedules:
- FJ880 Nadi (NAN) to Vancouver (YVR), departs at 10:15 pm and arrives at 1:20 pm
- FJ881 from Vancouver (YVR) to Nadi (NAN) will depart at 9:40 pm and arrive two days later at 5:30 pm
The flight will be operated by an Airbus A330 with 24 2-2-2 angle-flat seats in Business Class and 249 seats in Economy.
The northbound flight is only 11 hours on the clock, and the southbound flight will last about 11 hours 50 minutes, so having at least one angled flat seat in business class, although not as comfortable as a false-flat seat, will certainly come in handy.
In terms of onboard products, Fiji Airways’ Airbus A330 is by no means revolutionary. Rather, it’s about the convenience of flying to Fiji as a non-stop option for travelers to the West Coast.
In fact, it would represent Canada’s only direct link to Fiji. In North America, Fiji Airways also operates in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu.
Fiji Airways prides itself on a decent network of points outside the South Pacific, including flights to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide in Australia, as well as flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand.
Fiji Airways’ new Vancouver-River flight booking
First off, we can take a look at the cash prices. There is no price difference across the entire calendar: Vancouver-Fiji flights consistently sell for $ 754 one-way or $ 838 round-trip economy.
Business class costs about $ 4,841 one-way or about $ 6,117 round-trip.
When it comes to booking points, it is worth noting that Fiji Airways has its own loyalty program called Tabua Club. However, they do not have a credit card transfer partner, so this is one that we usually gloss over.
Rather, the best way to book Fiji Airways is to use the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, a highly reasonable reward chart, as well as American Airlines AAdvantage Miles.
Using Alaska Miles, Fiji Airways will cost a direct flight from Vancouver to Nadi 40,000 miles One-way in economy class or 55,000 miles In business class.
However, note that “South Pacific” also refers to New Zealand in the awards chart, which would represent a great sweet spot. The cost of traveling from Vancouver to New Zealand with a free stopover in Fiji is only the same as a flight from Vancouver to Nadi.
Business class award space is hard to find in Fiji Airways, the economy is much more common. A few months ago, we saw Alaska Airlines offering up to 50% discount on redemption of Fiji Airways, and I would like to see this promotion back in the coming years with the new Vancouver-Fiji route.
How is the business class of Fiji Airways?
On the Airbus A330-200s flying in Vancouver, Fiji Airways will offer a 2-2-2 angled flat product with a total of 24 business class flights.
Note that Fiji Airways ‘new Airbus A350s have full lie-flat seats, but those planes are currently only flying to Fiji Airways’ North American destinations in Los Angeles.
Needless to say, the angled-flat seats are less than ideal for 11-hour flights across the Pacific Ocean. In terms of choice and flexibility, even if I were in Vancouver I would probably choose a more comfortable connection to Los Angeles.
For Canadians in other parts of the country, flying through Los Angeles is a no-brainer because you have to connect anyway. However, keep in mind that you will be at the mercy of prize space availability, so your choices may be narrow.
In general, flying in the South Pacific doesn’t usually come with the glitz and glamor of the world’s best premium products, as it is primarily a leisure market that is low-income and price-sensitive. Convenience and availability will probably outweigh the comfort when planning a trip to this part of the world.
Thus, those of us who book new Vancouver-Fiji flights will be primarily inspired by the destination, so I don’t see the relatively weak business class product as a contract-breaker.
Until November 25, 2022, Fiji Airways will operate round-trip flights twice a week from Vancouver to Nadi on Mondays and Fridays.
Although the route will be served by an Airbus A330 with angle-flat seats, it is still a welcome development that offers a new nonstop option for Western Canadians to fly to Fiji, as well as visit Fiji as a stopover on the way to Australia or New Zealand. .
In particular, the standard offer of using 55,000 Alaska miles one-way from North America to Fiji or New Zealand is excellent, providing that you are able to find a place of reward.