CAPTION: Air Pacific’s outgoing CEO and Managing Director Dave Pflieger with staff members during his farewell at the airline head-office in Nasoso. Photo: SHALENDRA PRASAD.
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MD/CEO DAVE PFLIEGER, EMPLOYEES HONOURED FOR SUCCESS OF AIR PACIFIC’s TURNAROUND & REBRANDING
Execution of Turnaround Plan, New A330s, ‘Fiji Airways’ Rebranding, and Other Team Accomplishments Highlighted at Company Event
Airline Employees Bid MD/CEO Dave Pflieger Emotional Fijian Farewell
Nadi, Fiji — Having successfully achieved another milestone in the Air Pacific’s (soon to be ‘Fiji Airways’) turnaround plan, airline employees today hosted an event to honour successes like the A330 delivery and entry into service as well as a farewell to Managing Director & CEO Dave Pflieger, who is leaving the airline to return to his home in the United States, as announced in February.
“The incredible success of our turnaround plan is a testament to the men and women who make our airline the pride of Fiji,” Pflieger told the employees. “These results are not one person’s successes—they are the results of a team that planned, executed, and accomplished everything we aimed to do and more. Our amazing achievements are the results of a great team doing great things. They are your successes.”
Air Pacific Chairman Nalin Patel applauded Pflieger’s leadership and his commitment to the airline’s employees as being central to the turnaround plan’s success.
“Dave Pflieger’s incredible vision, leadership and drive resulted in one of the most remarkable airline turnarounds in recent history, and he did this while maintaining the strongest pro-employee proposition of any airline CEO who has had to undertake an airline restructuring and revitalisation in recent times,” Patel said. “Having successfully restored the airline to profitability in just two years, and revitalised and rebranded the airline in just three, Dave has earned the respect of all of his employees and Fijians everywhere.”
In his remarks to employees, Mr. Pflieger outlined many of the airline’s accomplishments over the past three years, including:
- Dramatically improving Air Pacific’s on-time performance, reliability and customer service;
- A financial turnaround of $ 91.8 million in loss to $16.5 million in profit;
- Rebranding the airline to best represent everything Fiji has to offer as “Fiji Airways”;
- Making hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in the airline and hence the nation’s tourism industry and economy, by purchasing the airline’s first-ever wide-body aircraft expressly designed and built from the ground up to represent Fiji and the Fijian people;
- Implementing a front-line Key Performance Indicator (“KPI”) incentive program that rewards front-line employees for top performance with bonuses of up to $1,200 per person per year. This plan has already paid out $600,000 in its first year alone;
- Creating a first-ever Profit Sharing Plan for all non-management employees;
- Being the only airline to operate during all four days of last year’s flooding as well as being the first airline to immediately resume operations after Cyclone Evan hit the nation this past December;
- Creating a first-ever Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) programme that already features partnerships with FRIEND (Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development) and the Mamanuca Environmental Society; and now includes the sponsorship of a new ‘Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic’; and
- And being twice recognised by Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, ranking among the Top 10 Small Airlines in the world in 2011, and among the Top 5 in 2012.
Air Pacific’s employees bid Pflieger a Fijian farewell complete with a traditional Kava ceremony and long-time employees speaking about their thanks for his service, dedication and incredible hard work over the past three years.
“It has been my privilege and honour to be a part of this world-class team. You are all in my heart as I leave Fiji knowing that our airline—and the whole nation—is going to ‘Soar to New Horizons,’ Pflieger concluded. “‘Vinaka Vakalevu’ for the hospitality and friendship you have shown my family and me during my tenure here—nowhere is the renowned hospitality of Fiji felt more than at our airline.”