National airline gets $250m in new loans

Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen. Picture: SUPPLIED

Fiji Airways managed to acquire $455 million worth of assistance, $250 million of which were new loans, says CEO and managing director Andre Viljoen.

Speaking at the Nadi Chamber of Commerce and Industry business forum recently, he said Government-approved assistance had allowed the airline to get a deferral on its loans and repayment period extended.

“We have gotten $455 million worth of assistance of which around $250 million are new loans and the balance is where we’ve got our aircraft owners which we rent the aircraft from or the loans that we have, to give us 12 months deferrals but we repay the deferral over six years,” he said.

“Likewise, the new loans that we’ve got are loans that will be repaid over 10 to 15 years.

“So the key to it was to get the maximum time to repay to give us some breathing space and eventually once the borders are opened we have time.

“Time to basically pay back the debt and get the airline back on its feet.”

Mr Viljoen said acquiring the loans was necessary to ensure survival of the airline.

“Getting loans and these types of financing support and the entire cost cutting that we’ve done in the business were done because at the end of the day we have to preserve every dollar.”

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