SkyDive Fiji has purchased Sunflower Aviation for an undisclosed amount after American Samoan airliner Inter Island Airways failed to complete the acquisition last year. The new owners are husband and wife duo, Susan and Tim Joyce who set up their first business operation – Skydive Fiji, in 2003 and are now expanding with plans already in place for their company – Joyce Aviation Fiji Limited to start domestic flights. Tim Joyce — Managing Director of Joyce Aviation Fiji — said they have applied to Fiji’s Air Transport Licensing Board to mount daily flights to two local tourist destinations.
He said tourist’s demands and providing a career path for students of their pilot training school in Nadi prompted the latest acquisition. “Introducing aeroplane scenic flights and charters was largely driven by a need to provide a stepping stone for Pacific Flying School students because it’s very hard to gain flying experience after spending all the money on learning to fly. “In my experience, completing your pilot’s licence is only the start so getting your first job and getting your first bit of experience is so critical.
“I see it as dovetailing in with all of our operations if we can also have charter and joy flights which we are introducing with smaller aircraft such as the Cessna 172, 182, 206 right up to the Islander. “We will start feeding the students into the operation once they have commercial licenses giving them the opportunity to build up commercial experience in a very controlled environment, initially doing joy flights and then charters under close supervision.” Fiji’s Air Transport Licensing Board (ALTB) Chairman Ernest Dutta says they have considered the application and a recommendation has been made to the Minister. “There are a number of requirements as outlined in the Licensing of Air Services Regulations, and the applicant has met all these requirements.
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