The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has signed a US$65 million COVID-19 Liquidity Support Facility for Fiji’s Air Pacific, 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 COVID-19 pandemic. The financing comprises a US$40 million loan from ADB and a further US$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 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 US$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.”
LEAP was established in 2016 with a US$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.