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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 23, 2000 – Fiji’s Daily Post)---Sunflower Airlines has introduced additional flights between Suva and Nadi.

Flights will depart from Nausori to Nadi six times daily with the first one leaving at 6:15 a.m., said director Ian Collingwood.

This is to ensure that passengers from Suva can connect to international flights in and out of Nadi.

"There will also be direct connections between Nadi and Taveuni," he said.

Mr. Collingwood said the company stands to gain the most from increased competition from the Nadi-Suva route.

In the past one operator has handled most of the traffic across Viti Levu.

However, this is expected to change given Sunflower's additional scheduled flights.

Mr. Collingwood said it had been tough for the airlines during the last 12 months and the industry has had to deal with dramatic increases in fuel prices and the continued strength of the US dollar.

"The airline had to respond to this and is still doing so and there has been an obvious upswing during the last three months and the airline is now seeing excellent growth from local and overseas markets," he said.

Mr. Collingwood said passenger numbers have gone up by 30 percent in some cases and this is largely due to the ongoing efforts of the Fiji Visitors Bureau and the strong performance of Air Pacific out of Los Angeles and Sydney.

"It may also have something to do with Sunflower's continued focus on providing the best customer service features for our passengers," he said.

Sunflower Airlines is the only airline in Fiji with 100 percent local ownership.

It expects to announce some major projects in the coming weeks.

For additional reports from Fiji’s Daily Post, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/Fijilive.

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