Fiji to Vanuatu is 2.5 hours on the Fiji Airways ATR 72, or rather the Fiji Link ATR 72. Departing Fiji’s Nadi airport after 2pm, you’re in Port Vila by 4pm.
If you’re travelling the Pacific islands you’ll probably end up in Fiji eventually, whether you really want to or not, because so many flights go via Fiji that you can get cheaper tickets and better availability for reward bookings.
I used Etihad Guest miles to fly from Brisbane to Fiji in Business Class with Virgin Australia. Then I had a few days of luxury for free at the Shangri La Fijian Resort, thanks to a load of Shangri La points I had left over from a competition I won a couple of years back.
£134 for 2.5 hours in business class from Nadi to Port Vila seemed like a bargain, but you can in theory do this route for 8000 Qantas points if you have them and can find availability.
On an ATR 72 I wasn’t expecting a great deal, but it turned out to be a really nice flight. Not because of fancy seats or anything, but simply really friendly and very competent service with a smile, and through the luck of having an empty seat next to me.
You also get some great views of tiny Pacific islands along the way. There’s a short video lower down this page.
Emerald and Sapphire oneworld members can use the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge if they are on an FJ flight number, but that is excluding Fiji Link flights.
My experience on Fiji Link business class Fiji to Vanuatu
I really enjoyed my time in the Fiji Airways Premier lounge, and I’m glad I made time in my schedule to be able to relax there for a while. Boarding was swift, service was excellent, and the seat was fine for two and half hours.
The food was great, the views were great, and everything was on time, which always helps.
It’s basic, but the price is really very cheap relative to any 2.5 hour flight in Europe.
Check-in and lounges
Thanks to oneworld connect, Emerald and Sapphire members (BA Silver or Gold) get priority check-in and boarding. Business class check-in was quiet and straightforward, and the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge is superb.
Transfer and boarding
Nadi is a small airport so there’s not much to report here. You’ll walk to the plane, which gives you a chance to admire the views and look at some of the other aircraft on the stands, like this Fiji Airways A330, The Island of Vatulele.
This particular A330 used to be with Etihad and was and acquired on a 4 year lease by Fiji Airways when they added a new route to Narita, boosted by $18 million of government money to promote tourism. It’s part of their program to evaluate and select their future wide-body fleet.
It’s their 6th A330. Named in a ceremony at the Fiji Airways hangar, Vatulele is a 12 square mile island to the south of Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island. Naming aircraft after the Fijian islands is part of the government’s tourism promotions. Tourism makes up the majority of Fiji’s economy.
For the Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila flight it’s a much smaller ATR 72.
Seatmap & seating
The Fiji Link ATR 72-600 seats just 68, with supposedly only 4 of those in business. On my flight, the first 8 seats were business but 3 of those were empty.
The seats themselves look identical to the ones in economy. The only difference is the meal service and the divider curtain. Oh yeah, there’s a different cloth on the head rest. Whoop whoop.
The first row has more legroom.
I was pleasantly surprised. The food was hot and tasty, and the service was brilliant, with extra bread, frequent drink top-ups, and the same smiles that you see all through the flight.
How to book
The cheapest fares for Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila are online direct at Fiji Airways.
The cheapest fares are Bula Saver fares which is booking class V. That should give you 825 Qantas miles.
Flights can be credited to Alaska, American, or Qantas.
Now that Fiji Airways has joined oneworld connect, you should be able to credit your flight to BA or Cathay as well.
Reward flights can be booked with American, Alaska, or Qantas, but at 16,000 Qantas miles one way in business, it’s almost certainly better to pay cash. It would take 30,000 American or Alaska miles.
In should be possible to book Fiji Airways flights with Avios as soon as the oneworld connect program is all sorted out. So far, it seems that there is no availability for Fiji Airways flights in the BA system, certainly not for NAN to VLI.
If you book a cheap sale fare (Bula Saver) then it’s a good flight with perfect service, nice food, and access to a really good lounge at Nadi.
Here’s a little video of flying Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila.
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