In May 2013, the team at Air Pacific, now Fiji Airways, bid a fond farewell to the man who led them through a period of significant and positive transformation. Accomplished aviation business leader David Pflieger joined the company in 2010 as Managing Director and CEO, taking on the lofty task of rebranding and rejuvenating the struggling national airline. At the time of his appointment, Fiji Airways had been operating at a severe financial deficit for two years. Mr. Pflieger succeeded in restoring the airline to its former prosperity, accomplishing a financial turnaround from $91.8 million in losses to profits of $16.5 million in just two years.
In order to achieve this reversal, Mr. Pflieger introduced dramatic improvements to several of Fiji Airways’ operational areas, including customer service and on-time performance. He implemented a Key Performance Indicator program to encourage and promote excellence among front-line employees, offering up to $1,200 in annual bonuses per employee, in addition to establishing Fiji's first-ever profit-sharing plan for those outside of management positions.
The turnaround effort also featured a number of investments in the airline’s fleet, including the first-ever purchase of wide-body aircraft, the creation of a new corporate social responsibility program which served Fijian communities in a variety of ways, partnering with organizations such as the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) and the Mamanuca Environmental Society, as well as establishing Fiji's first-ever Wellness Clinic to promote health among employees and Fiji residents.
David Pflieger’s many accomplishments helped to elevate the reputation of Fiji Airways worldwide, attracting attention from international banks and multiple other partners. The carrier also earned a Condé Nast Traveler’s ranking as one of the top 10 small airlines in the world. As Mr. Pflieger departed Nadi, Fiji, for his new position in Miami, Florida, he drew praise from the airline's unions and the Fiji Airways board for his employee-focused turnaround strategy and dedicated leadership. As stated by Air Pacific chairman Nalin Patel, “Having successfully restored the airline to profitability in just two years, and revitalized and re-branded the airline in just three, Dave has earned the respect of all of his employees and Fijians everywhere.”
About David Pflieger
David Pflieger - Senior Airline Executive