In June 2021, the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) alongside ANZ Fiji, signed a AUD68.4 million loan to Airports Fiji Pte Ltd (AFL). The loan will fund essential maintenance and capital works at Nadi International Airport and several outer islands’ airports, refinances existing debt and supports the infrastructure priorities of AFL.
AFL is the main provider of air services in Fiji. AFL owns and operates Nadi International Airport and manages Nausori International Airport in Suva and 13 domestic outer island airports. AFL also operates traffic and airspace for Fiji, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kiribati and Vanuatu.
Pre-COVID, AFL employed 548 personnel across its 15 airports, managed 2.9 million passengers, and over 1.5 million tons of freight per year. Fiji’s tourism industry, which supported a third of the country’s employment and half the Government's revenue, has been devastated by the recent travel restrictions. Investing in airport infrastructure will position AFL to quickly scale up capacity to meet the increased tourism demand once international travel resumes - essential to Fiji and the region's economic recovery.
The AIFFP’s financing package consists of a AUD61.9 million guarantee to ANZ Fiji for ANZ’s loan to AFL, and a direct AUD6.5 million loan to AFL. The AIFFP’s innovative partnership with ANZ, utilising AIFFP’s newly established guarantee instrument, ensured we could provide a local currency loan to AFL which best supported AFL’s operational needs.
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*Exchange rate: AUD/1.55FJD
The financing provided by AIFFP and ANZ Fiji will support several infrastructure priorities of AFL, located at Nadi and in the outer islands. Current projects include; upgrading offgate aprons to improve capacity for plane parking, upgrading air traffic management systems, and ongoing airport sustainment projects. Upon delivery, these projects will support improvement to the economy by providing employment and overseeing an increase in the airport’s serviceability, passenger capacity, safety and improved air connectivity for the entire South Pacific.