An aviation industry executive with a background as a U.S. Air Force B52 pilot and commercial attorney, David “Dave” Pflieger currently serves as the CEO and President of Ravn Air Group in Alaska. Previously, David Pflieger was the CEO and Managing Director of Fiji Airways, where he built and grew the country’s first-ever corporate social responsibility program.
In November 2018, Fiji Airways demonstrated its continued commitment to Dave Pflieger’s legacy by signing a deal in support of the Fijian Paralympic team, which is preparing for the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. The city was also the site of the Fijian team’s debut at the Games in 1964. The sponsorship deal, which designates the carrier as the Fijian Paralympians’ official airline, grants the team $50,000 annually for the next two years. To date, the team has brought home one medal: a gold for the high jump at the 2012 games in London. This marks the latest in a new line of community partnerships for Fiji Airways, which announced in 2017 that it would become a sponsor of the Fiji Rugby Union.
An accomplished airline executive, David “Dave” Pflieger brings more than three decades of experience to his position as the CEO and president of Ravn Air Group in Anchorage, Alaska. Under the direction of David Pflieger, Ravn Air Group employs approximately 1,000 employees who operate more than 3,000 flights per week throughout the state.
In October 2018, Ravn Air Group furthered its capacity to serve the people of Alaska when its owner, J.F. Lehman & Company, made a successful bid to buy the assets of regional Alaskan airline PenAir at a bankruptcy auction. Recently, the sale was approved by a court supervising PenAir’s bankruptcy proceedings. PenAir, which has been providing air service in Alaska for more than six decades, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2017. The deal must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation before it becomes final.
At the bankruptcy auction, bidding for PenAir’s assets started at $6 million, with J.F. Lehman & Company and one other potential buyer bidding up the price to its eventual sale at $12.3 million.
As part of the deal, PenAir will become a subsidiary of Ravn Air Group, but it will continue to operate as its own company with its own employees and management structure. The arrangement will allow PenAir to continue serving the routes it has operated for decades while protecting numerous jobs and giving Ravn Air Group added flexibility and capacity throughout the state.
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Former US Air Force officer, B-52 Instructor Pilot, and airline pilot, David “Dave” Pflieger previously served as a corporate officer and attorney at Delta Air Lines and Virgin America. More recently, he was CEO of Fiji Airways, Silver Airways, and Hawaii Island Air.
David Pflieger currently holds those positions with air transportation and logistics services provider Ravn Air Group based in Anchorage, Alaska, the largest regional airline in our 49th State.
On August 13, 2018, Ravn Air Group announced that it had successfully completed the arduous International Air Transport Association (IATA) operational safety and audit and had officially joined the International Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registry.
With that, Ravn Alaska became the 35th airline in the country to earn the certification and achieve that highly coveted standard. IOSA registration is an international standard for airline safety management. The IOSA certification is recognized globally as an endorsement of a carrier’s processes, management systems, and controls. To receive certification, carriers and their systems are evaluated against about 900 standards and best practices in eight organizational disciplines.
The certification process standardizes operational safety audits, creating a benchmark upon which carriers can assess their safety practices. Dave Pflieger and his Ravn Air executives credited their highly successful IOSA registration to the hard work and commitment of the airline’s frontline team. They stated that the registration was a testament to its prioritization of passenger safety.
A leading professional in the aviation and airline industry, David Pflieger began his career as a pilot in the US Air Force, eventually becoming a B-52 instructor pilot, a C-130 aircraft commander, an aviation attorney, and then a businessman serving as an officer, director, President and CEO of various airlines, including Air Pacific/Fiji Airways, Virgin America, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, and Hawaii Island Air. David Pflieger now leads the Anchorage, Alaska-based airline Ravn Air Group as its President and CEO.
With safety as the airline's top priority, Ravn Air Group recently gained Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for its Safety Management System (SMS). The SMS program provides the same protections and standards as SMS programs in place for U.S. airlines much larger than Ravn Air, according to a statement by Dave Pflieger. An SMS program helps to identify and reduce safety issues that might be present within an airline. The system enables the airline staff to identify risks and either eliminate them or reduce such issues to acceptable levels. In the company’s press release about FAA approval of its SMS, Mr. Pflieger noted that the airline’s “safety culture starts with our people,” and “we expect everyone to play an active role in ensuring we operate at the highest level of safety possible.”
Ravn Air Group stands out as the largest regional carrier serving Alaska, with a fleet comprising 77 aircraft operating nearly 3,000 flights per week to over 118 different destinations. Learn more at www.flyravn.com.
About David Pflieger
David Pflieger - Senior Airline Executive