Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila – ATR 72 Business Class- Review 2020

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Rating ★★★★★

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.

Best of all, if you’ve booked business class or have Priority Pass then you can use the Fiji Airways Premier Lounge at Nadi airport. It is a superb lounge.

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.

fiji airways hangar nadi airport
Fiji Airways hangar at Nadi airport (NAN)

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.

fiji airways ATR72 exterior
Fiji Link Nadi to Port Vila business class ATR72

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.

fiji airways premier lounge nadi airport tv screen
Fiji Airways Premier Lounge Nadi International - Seating & TV

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.

fiji airways A330 island of vatulele at nadi airport
Fiji Airways A330 "Island of Vatulele"

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.

fiji airways ATR72 business class seats
Fiji Link Nadi to Port Vila business class seating
fiji airways ATR72 interior
Fiji Link Nadi to Port Vila business class seats
fiji airways ATR 72
Fiji Airways ATR72 Nadi to Port Vila

Dining

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.

fiji airways ATR72 business class dining
Fiji Link Nadi to Port Vila business class dining

IFE

Well, here it is. If you’re flying Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila, bring your own entertainment.
fiji airways ATR72 business class onboard entertainment
Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila business class IFE
vanuatu south pacific islands from the air
Fiji to Vanuatu - South Pacific islands

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.

Port Vila Airport Vanuatu VLI
Port Vila Bauerfield International Airport (VLI) in Vanuatu

Opinion

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.

Vanuatu from the air
Vanuatu Port Vila from the air

Here’s a little video of flying Fiji Airways Nadi to Port Vila.

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