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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Malolo IV launch marks new era for Denarau/Mamanuca transfers

Heralding a new era for Fiji's boat building industry and inter-island sea travel within the destination, Minister for Tourism, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has officially launched Malolo IV, the largest composite vessel to be built in Fiji.

Designed to look more like a super yacht rather than a passenger ferry, the new fully air-conditioned 24-metre vessel seats 180 passengers.

Powered by the latest twin 620hp Italian-built Iveco Marine engines with a top speed of 26 knots, Malolo IV can make the journey from Denarau Marina on the main island of Viti Levu to Malolo Lailai Island in the Mamanuca chain in just 40 minutes.

Operated by Leeward Islands Services, Malolo IV is an expansion of the existing Malolo Cat fleet and is being used to ferry passengers between Denarau and the three resorts located on Malolo Lailai Island – Plantation Island Resort, Lomani Island Resort and Musket Cove Island Resort

Speaking at the official launch ceremony, Leeward Islands Services director, Jayson Raffe, who is also a director of Plantation and Lomani Island Resorts, said the introduction of the new Malolo IV was a major and very timely enhancement on existing Malolo Cat sea transfer services between Denarau and Malolo Lailai.

"The launch of Malolo IV marks a special day in the history of Leeward Island Services and is the culmination of a 40-year joint venture started by Dick Smith, Reg Raffe and Sir Ian Mcfarlane in the 1970's when Leeward Islands Services was formed to develop and operate the Malolo Lailai airfield to allow guests another form of access to the island," Mr Raffe said.

"That business was further expanded in 1997 with the purchase of a 60 person passenger ferry and one year later, expanded again with a 95-seater vessel which is the current Malolo Cat fleet flagship.

"Further expansion of the company has continued and today, the Malolo Cat fleet represents the best value and most reliable, passenger ferry service in Fiji."

Malolo IV operates four services on a daily basis commencing at 5.45 am ex-Malolo Lailai with the final service departing from Denarau at 5.30 pm, both services timed to connect with most flight arrivals and departures at Nadi International Airport.

Pictured: The new Malolo IV.

 

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