Swiss Plane Comes to Fiji during Seven-destination World Tour
Alocal tour operator brought to the country its first chartered flight from Switzerland on Friday. The Swiss Edelweiss Air Airbus landed at the Nadi International Airport with 154 passengers and 17 crew on board, including a doctor and five tour guides.
The flight is on a seven-destination world tour and will leave Fiji for Sydney today. All Pacific Travel Concept (APTC) Fiji Limited secured the deal after teaming up with its partners to successfully pitch Fiji as an ideal destination at a recent global trade fair.
These flights are strategically planned for upmarket guests who can then promote Fiji in their home countries.
The guests are from Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria.
The world tour is for 23 days.
APTC managing director Monika Oldenburg, said Europe was a new and emerging tourism market in which her company saw opportunities.
“This is another historic milestone for Fiji tourism as we tap into a new market,” Ms Oldenburg said.
“It is very expensive to come from Europe to Fiji but we hope to push for more groups to follow this one.
“When we make this group happy, we are sending a good message back to the stakeholders which we work with.
“This will attract more business from continental Europe.”
Ms Oldenburg said guests from Europe are generally impressed with Fiji.
“It is an exclusive trip for them and they have spent a lot of money to do it,” she said.
“This is also for the first time a chartered flight coming from Switzerland or from Europe to Fiji.
“Definitely we are looking for more tours in the future because guests mostly hold positive attitudes about Fiji.”
APTC secured the deal during ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, oneand-half years ago.
There, the company pitched Fiji as an ideal tourist destination and managed to convince their audience, Ms Oldenburg said. The flight from Switzerland made stops in Alaska, Canada and Japan before coming to Fiji.
The next stop is Sydney, Singapore, Mauritius and Dubai before returning home.
Guests were in a good mood when they disembarked at Nadi International around 10PM.
They were accorded a colourful Fijian welcome, filled with dance and music.
Brigitte Siber, a doctor for Natural Medicine in Switzerland, said: “The welcome was fantastic and we have never experienced this before.
“I like Fiji’s climate and the relaxed mood here. It is a stark difference from the cold weather we have in Switzerland.” German international Sigrist Hans-Peter said he was excited to see what Fiji had to offer.
Another passenger, Heinz Weber, said Fiji was fast becoming a popular holiday spot for the Swiss.
“Fiji has very good reputation with Switzerland.
“It is located in the South Seas, has nice beaches, nice people and nice weather compared to the cold of Europe.”
Sigrist Hans-Peter with traditional Fijian warriors Kitione Nawaite (left) and Epeli Katisawani after disembarking from the Edelweiss Air chartered aircraft at the Nadi International Airport on September 13, 2018.
Passenger Brigitte Siber with traditional Fijian warriors Kitione Nawaite (left) and Epeli Katisawani after disembarking from the Edelweiss Air chartered aircraft at the Nadi International Airport on September 13, 2018.