MANILA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a $65 million COVID-19 Liquidity Support Facility for Fiji’s Air Pacific Limited, which operates as Fiji Airways and (through its wholly-owned subsidiary) Fiji Link, to help fund the company through the international travel downturn caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and to support its return to profitable operation.
The financing comprises a $40 million loan from ADB and a further $25 million loan from the Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP), which will be administered by ADB.
“COVID-19 has crippled the international aviation industry,” said ADB Private Sector Operations Department Infrastructure Finance Division Director for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Jackie B. Surtani.
“This has severely affected Fiji and other Pacific countries which rely on air links for critical freight, health, education, communication services, and especially for tourism—which accounts for around one-third of Fiji’s gross domestic product. This investment underscores the breadth of ADB’s commitment to ensure continued essential infrastructure services in Fiji and throughout the Pacific.”
“We are delighted to welcome ADB’s financial support at this critical time,” said Fiji Airways Chief Executive Officer Andre Viljoen. “The $65 million Liquidity Support Facility from ADB is a great endorsement for Fiji Airways and its strategy of bridging the world to Fiji and the South Pacific with a sustainably profitable, high-quality air service. ADB’s facility, along with the dedicated support of Fiji Airways’ staff, management, Board, and other stakeholders, will allow us to weather the turbulence of COVID-19 and sustain our critical role in connecting the world to the Fijian and regional economies.”
Fiji Airways is the South Pacific’s leading regional airline with a strong safety record, a new aircraft fleet, and a history of profitable operation. It provides essential transport services for Fiji and other small island developing states in the South Pacific and is a foundation for economic and social development in the region.
LEAP was established in 2016 with a $1.5 billion capital commitment from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. It is focused on delivering high-quality and sustainable private sector infrastructure projects to ADB’s developing member countries.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. – BusinessNews.ph