Showing posts with label Air Pacific. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Air Pacific. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2008

Who's got $20,000 play money?

from w
This new 'Second home visa' is only meant for rich people. Not everyone has $30,000 or $20,000 play money to put into a bank deposit in Fiji, so it is a selective visa. It's not for an ordinary bubu to go back to the village in retirement (if he's taken out another citizenship!) A second gripe is that the exit tax on visitors to Fiji has been upped to about $70 which is too much. Hey, if you want to attract tourists and visitors to Fiji, that's not the way to go, nor is the hefty price of Air Pacific tickets - e.g. Melbourne to Nadi return in the Christmas season is over $1500! You can just about get to Paris for that!
from Fiji TV news:
Attracting foreign currency funds through new immigration policy
23 Nov 2008 02:38:41

Non-Fiji residents who intend to settle in the country will have all legal rights, except for voting. The 'Fiji My Second Home' Program is part of Budget 2009 - which allows non-citizens to reside in Fiji on a multiple entry social visit pass. The Department of Immigration says, the goal is to attract foreign currency funds into the country.

The new 'Fiji My Second Home Programme' announced in the 2009 national budget is one of the many schemes by the interim government to attract investment, that will eventually grow the economy. The programme will allow non citizens to reside in Fiji on a multiple entry social visit an effort to attract foreign currency funds into the country including expenditure locally for retirement and here living by non-citizens. The programme has some requirements though those who use this facility, will need to satisfy certain critieria including a fixed deposit placement of $200,000 for those aged 50 and above and $300,000 for those aged below 50. Interest earned from deposits will be exempted from tax. Those who fall under this category will have all the validity rights in the country except for voting.

The program comes into effect on January 1st, 2009.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Spirit of Taveuni to Fiji and a bus ride

from w
Wow, the weather is different here. We left Geelong which was about 2 degrees at night, and 12 in the daytime. Here it is 22 at night, 28 in the day and the humidity is 80 per cent. Anyway, it's lovely to see our family - the grandkids are looking after me very well.

The Air Pacific Spirit of Taveuni took just over four hours so it was a good trip. The supper was a bit strange though - a bun with some kind of curried chicken or fish, don't know which, dry biscuits and cheese, and a chocolate bar. Peceli asked for more! Economy class was crowded though and I got elbowed numerous times.

We reached Nadi airport by 6.15 am. and a newly married couple met us (supposedly for breakfast together) but the bus was ready so we clambered onto the Sunbeam bus for the 4 to 5 hour trip to Suva. We were really stacked in, four to a seat for three, with bottoms hanging over the aisle. They just kept selling more bus tickets and shoving people onto the bus. It's school holidays, Hibiscus Festival, Methodist conference, bazaar, choir festival and rugby tournaments! At Sigatoka, not quite halfway, we stopped for 10 minutes. While I bought bananas in the market Peceli bought mugs of tea and two roti and curry parcels for our breakfast. I had a water bottle thank goodness.

We reached Pacific Harbour to our daughter-in-law's lovely village by midday and it was a relief after the bus trip of grinding up a dozen mountains. A swimming pool was a welcome sight.

More stories to come later.
(And in tiny print - I've just picked up a Fiji Times and noticed that there's some big news - Chaudhry is out! Okay, I will try not to talk politics this week!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How do you manage overweight luggage?

from w
It's always an irksome business trying to juggle overweight luggage when you fly over to Fiji by Qantas or Air Pacific (the same plane anyway). Twenty kilos is the proper limit, though you can usually manage a few more. If you are charged, it is now at least $18A a kilo so you don't want to pay that for a couple of tins of Milo. Because you want to take gifts and lots of stuff for relatives and the village, more than half the luggage isn't for yourself anyway. Those Tongan bags (blue, red and white striped) are a common sight at the check-in, as you stuff them full of op-shop clothes etc. to give away. Coming back from Fiji is different. Some of our relatives come back very light - as everything is given away - even come back shoeless! We usually bring back kava, mats, coconut oil, Fiji Times, and not much else!

A drawing in an Australian paper gives one solution; wear all your clothes on your back. Thanks Simon Letch for the funny picture.

For the story associated with Simon's picture go to this site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Traveller's tale with Air Pacific

A traveller’s tale of Air Pacific

Reporting time was over and the check-in was completed two hours before the 6.30 p.m. take-off at Nadi airport. The traveller went into the waiting area inside with his very small piece of hand luggage. At 5 p.m. an announcement came over the speaker: ‘The plane will not leave for Australia until 9 p.m. Everyone can have a $20 voucher to buy food and drink.’ Well, this traveller bought a large heavy book to read and a snack. This is in the international area remember, not in the check-in area.

A few hours later another announcement came over the speaker. ‘The Air Pacific flight will not be going tonight but at 3 a.m. Those who would like to go to a nearby hotel for four hours may do so, complimentary.’ And another $20 each was distributed for more food and drinks. The traveller in the story, a young man who’s been at Nadi airport numerous times, did not want to go to a hotel. He found a comfortable nook with lounges and several other passengers were there, also intent upon some kind of sleep. Well, the plane eventually took off with tourists, business people, and the usual Fiji families going abroad. The plane arrived in Melbourne 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 6 a.m.Australian time. The waiting relatives had got up at 4 a.m. to get to the airport by 6.20 the (new) scheduled time.

At arrivals a scattering of people were there to meet the passengers – and there were arrivals from Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia etc. etc. I wonder how many Australian people did not phone Qantas early last night to check on arrival time and went out to the airport to discover the plane would be eight hours late! This delay meant driving in peak hour city traffic, and a one hour drive on the freeway to a foggy provincial city.

The traveller did not complain, but I am sure many other passengers on that flight would have been put out with people waiting for them, or their connections messed up. Why the delay? There was no announcement as to what had happened. Was it engine trouble? Not enough flight attendants and having to wait for someone to sleep eight hours first? Bag handlers on strike? No-one seemed to know.

Smarten up, Air Pacific as there are too many stories like this, especially of late departures and arrivals.

I wonder if that string band group that sings 'Isa Lei' to departing tourists sang for eight hours in the departure lounge on that night!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Waiting at Melbourne airport

from w
The Air Pacific plane was running four hours late! Apparently a pilot got sick and his replacement had to sleep for eight hours or so before the plane could leave Nadi! Sobosobo! Fortunately I got an email from Suva to check on flight arrival times. So at 1.20 a.m. the plane landed at Tullamarine airport ten minutes after a huge Emirates plane brought hundreds of people from Dubai, Greece, Singapore, etc. So there were hundreds of Muslim people waiting though I didn't draw the ladies in their lovely veils and costumes. I drew some guys holding out names, etc. The hostesses from the Emirates plane came out but no staff from the Air Pacific plane. Someone told me that they are banned from entering Australia and have to just stay inside the terminal. What! Well, if that is Downer's revenge, it is not quite fair.

Peceli came out over an hour later with his case, small bag and clutching two sasa brooms - a gift for me from the Naduri Conference. One perhaps to clean, one perhaps to fly off on! Anyway he's back safe and sound and we got home to Geelong before 4 a.m.! And today there are lots of stories - many unsuitable for blogging. I asked him what he did at Nadi airport to while away the hours after the Sunbeam bus trip across the island. 'Oh, I drank kava with the Customs fellows.' Well, that figures.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bula sia from Suva

from Peceli
Bula sia.
In spite of the plane delay we managed to touch down at Nadi airport by 6 15 Fiji time. I had two spare seats in the middle so I managed to make these three seats as a bed to sleep in. The Captain was Turaganivalu Caniogo's relation and the plane's name the City of Kualaroo Qantas. I managed to see Siteri's son, Christine's brother as he is an immigration officer for the diplomats and he said to me 'My mother is in Boundary Road' so I was happy to meet him. I arrived at Namadi Heights at 11 30 am and am tired and I need a rest. I am in heaven as it is much warmer and comfortable.

from Wendy
I didn't know the plane was delayed! Sobosobo, Peceli had to wait an hour or more after we left the airport.