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Pacific Sun Additional DHC-6 300 Aircraft Arrives

Nadi, Fiji --- Domestic and regional airline Pacific Sun employees have welcomed another addition to its Twin Otter fleet with the arrival of a newly leased DHC-6 300 series aircraft from the United States.

Employees of Pacific Sun met the aircraft with colored fabric in a short but warm Fijian welcome ceremony of “cere” on Monday (30 May) outside the Air Pacific Hangar at Nadi International Airport. A local pastor blessed the aircraft before ferry crew Captains Stephen Krouger and Alex Borla of the US-based ferry company Southern Cross Aviation were welcomed by staff in a kava ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Pacific Sun General Manager Mrs Shaenaz Voss said the more modern and more capable 300 series DHC-6 is a welcome addition to the airline’s Twin Otter fleet.

“Once this aircraft begins serving our domestic routes, Pacific Sun expects to be able to restore reliability to its network schedule, and we plan to revert to three daily flights from Nadi and Suva to our key tourist destinations of Savusavu, Taveuni and twice a day flights to Kadavu.  We are expecting the second replacement 300 Series Twin Otter to join the fleet in late June--something we and our customers throughout Fiji will welcome.”

The leased aircraft made the ferry flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida about a week ago, stopping at several US mid-western airports before it was fitted with extra fuel tanks in Los Angeles for its across the Pacific Ocean flight last Friday, with overnight stops in Honolulu, Christmas Island and Apia.

The plane arrived an hour ahead of schedule in Nadi on Monday and Customs, Health and Border Control officers were at the Air Pacific Hangar to process the aircraft and its ferry crew. Mrs Voss said a few more documentation would have to be completed before the Civil Authority of the Fiji Islands would allow the aicraft to go into service, and this would probably happen by later this week. Airline engineers have also begun work on adding the Pacific Sun livery on the plane’s tail and re-installing aircraft seats.

Mrs Voss reiteraited what Mr. Dave Pflieger, Managing Director & CEO of Air Pacific and a Board member of Pacific Sun had told employees of both airlines last week that the arrival of the aircraft was only accomplished through the herculean efforts of key staff members. She said the two newer aircraft were a key part of Pacific Sun’s turnaround plan—a plan that is keenly focused on fleet replacement and upgrade initiatives as one way to ensure Pacific Sun’s future success.

“It has taken our teams at Pacific Sun and Air Pacific almost six months of hard work and perseverance to overcome a number of significant challenges to get to this point, so we are thrilled to complete this deal and get the first of our two replacement aircraft in the air,” added Mrs Voss.

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