Fiji Airways (FJ, Nadi) has temporarily cancelled two international routes as a result of Fiji Airports halting jet aircraft operations at Suva between July 26 and October 26 due to runway works, according to a statement by the airline.

It said it had cancelled its direct services from Suva to both Auckland Int'l and Sydney Kingsford Smith during this period and that all affected guests would be rebooked on flights between Nadi and the New Zealand and Australian cities instead, connecting to Suva on its subsidiary Fiji Link.

Fiji Airways said it would notify guests about the changes directly or through their travel agents. It currently operates 1x weekly from Suva to each destination and 15x weekly to each from Nadi, according to ch-aviation capacities.

Fiji Airports confirmed the upgrade works on its 1,868-metre-long 10/28 runway to the Fiji Times on July 4, saying that July 26 to October 26 "is a scheduled pre-planned no jet (no B737 flights) period for the new Nausori runway construction, agreed with airlines last year". It added that "domestic operations with smaller aircraft are scheduled to be unaffected in this period".

In related news, Fiji Airways has applied to the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for a renewal of the exemption authority authorising it to engage in scheduled air transportation of persons, property and mail between Nadi and Honolulu via Kiritimati, also known as Christmas Island, in Kiribati, or to serve Kiritimati as a beyond point on a Nadi-Honolulu routing. The exemption authority was issued for a one-year period and will expire on July 26.

The amended routing previously granted by the DOT has given Fiji Airways the flexibility to serve Kiritimati either as an intermediate or beyond point, permitting it to improve its quality of service, it said in its application.

It added that it had faced numerous local ground handling challenges on the remote island, and Kiritimati also "lacks passenger handling infrastructure and accommodations for passengers in the event of flight disruptions". However, by changing the routing and retiming its flight operations, it "has been able to provide more reliable and comfortable service to its passengers in these markets".

Fiji Airways operates 1x weekly each between Nadi and Honolulu, between Nadi and Kiritimati, and between Kiritimati and Honolulu, according to ch-aviation capacities.