Fiji Airways has leased a Boeing 737-800 from Malaysia based Malindo Air. It comes as the 737 MAX grounding drags on. Fiji Airways has two 737 MAX aircraft sitting idle, a sizeable chunk of the 12 jet aircraft currently in its fleet.
According to Fiji Airways, the lease is going ahead in order to keep the airline’s schedule running as per timetable and to minimize disruption to passengers.
For several months over the 2019 winter, Fiji Airways leased a Miami Air Boeing 737-800 but this went back to the lessor in August.
The Malindo Air jet looks set to plug the hole.
FBC News is reporting that the first Malindo Air flight will be to Brisbane on Monday, September 16, 2019. Fiji Airways is operating FJ921 to Brisbane that day and FJ920 back to Nadi.
The aircraft is also scheduled to fly to Sydney, Auckland and Christchurch.
The Malindo Air 737-800 will have 12 business class seats and 150 economy seats.
The aircraft will fly under Malindo livery with Malindo Air pilots and crew. Fiji Airways will have a senior purser on board.
Fiji Airways says it is a temporary arrangement and that the cabin is of a high standard with facilities similar to what passengers could expect on a Fiji Airways 737-800.