Virgin America Aims to Be a Good Corporate Neighbor

Virgin America pic
Virgin America

An airline committed to corporate social responsibility, Virgin America maintains a strong commitment to nonprofits in and around its Northern California headquarters. They include Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), which raises funds for interdisciplinary research into cancer treatments. SU2C’s fundraising work is notable in that it attempts to enable researchers to work collaboratively, thus minimizing the duplication of effort and moving the research cycle forward more quickly. In addition, it promotes higher-stakes research projects that could have a significant impact.

As part of its deep involvement in the Bay Area community, Virgin America supports San Francisco Animal Care and Control, which works to find homes for neglected and abused dogs and cats. Over the past six years, the airline has flown dozens of Chihuahua puppies from its San Francisco hub across the country and into the waiting arms of their new families.

Virgin’s other nonprofit partners include Make-A-Wish Greater Greater Bay Area, one of the largest chapters of the national group, which grants special wishes to children with terminal illnesses. Through Make-A-Wish, Virgin has hosted numerous children and their families as VIP guests aboard flights to their chosen destinations.

David Pflieger Leaves Behind Legacy of Prosperity at Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways pic
Fiji Airways

Faced with the most financially tumultuous period in its 60 year history, the Air Pacific Board of Directors and the national airline’s major shareholders, the Fijian government and Qantas, sought a skilled businessman with extensive experience in the aviation sector to return the struggling airline to profitability. They found this individual in David Pflieger, a former attorney, pilot, and business leader who advanced from the law, safety, and flight operations departments of Delta Air Lines to serve as a founding officer and senior vice president at Virgin America.

Drawing on knowledge garnered over the course of more than two decades in the aviation industry, Mr. Pflieger orchestrated the complete turnaround and revitalization of Air Pacific, including its rebranding to Fiji Airways. While the company’s previous two years of operations had yielded operating losses in excess of $100 million, the new CEO managed to achieve an annual profit of $16 million in just two years.

One of the many elements of Fiji Airways’ extensive turnaround and rebranding was the expansion of its existing fleet. In 2013, Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama attended the maiden flight of the airline’s new Airbus A330-200s aircraft in Toulouse, France, marking a moment of great pride for the national carrier and the country as a whole.

After guiding the successful turnaround of Fiji Airways, David Pflieger opted not to renew his CEO contract when it concluded, so he could return to his family in the United States. Mr. Pflieger agreed, however, to remain on the Board of Fiji Airways and to help the airline search for a new leader who could carry on his legacy of success. In late 2013, with the airline completely fixed and revitalized, the Board and Mr. Pflieger appointed Stefan Pichler, formerly the CEO of Jazeera Airways, to the position of managing director and chief executive officer of Fiji Airways. Mr. Pichler had the honor of announcing how successful the airline turnaround he inherited had been when it declared record profits and profit sharing for all employees–all of which was due to three years of hard work, focus, and dedication by the team at Fiji Airways.

Fiji Airways Sees Improvements after One Year of Turnaround Efforts

David Pflieger
David Pflieger

From 2008 to 2010, Fiji’s Air Pacific airline experienced a period of record financial losses and significantly reduced market share. However, after just one year under new leadership, the national carrier was already showing significant signs of recovery.

In an October 2012 interview with the CAPA-Centre for Aviation, Air Pacific CEO and Managing Director David Pflieger outlined many of the airline’s recent accomplishments, as well as the various challenges left for it to surmount, as it headed into the final leg of its three-stage transformation initiative.

Among the obstacles still facing the company were fluctuating fuel costs, an unstable global economic climate, and regional competition. However, while companies such as Jetstar and Virgin Australia had recently taken a firmer hold on the sector, Dave Pflieger guided the company to solidify its position as a major international carrier, increasing the frequency of flights to major cities including Sydney, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. One of the final stages of the massive rebranding saw the airline revert to the name it had used prior to 1958: Fiji Airways. Pflieger noted that, in addition to highlighting the firm’s role as a quality national carrier, the name change would help to position Fiji as an attractive tourism destination as its fleet traveled the globe.

David Pflieger’s accomplishments with Air Pacific, now operating as Fiji Airways, included making new investments to improve the onboarding experience and introducing new, custom-designed Airbus A330-200 aircraft to the carrier’s fleet. He also revitalized the staff with incentive plans and social responsibility initiatives, and forged a partnership with Tourism Fiji in an effort to strengthen the entire travel sector. While 2010 marked one of the airline’s worst years in over six decades of operation, the $9.2 million in profits it earned in fiscal year 2012 indicated that it was well on its way to recovery.

Virgin America Makes History with Partnership pic

In December 2008, Virgin America took new measures to ensure the environmental efficiency of its operations, becoming the first airline to allow passengers to offset their carbon emissions via in-flight touch screens. In a move guided by senior vice president David Pflieger, whose contributions to the airline included the creation of its numerous sustainability initiatives, the carrier partnered with carbon offset provider to offer passengers new options to reduce their carbon footprint.

Virgin America has operated with a commitment to sustainability since its inception, drawing on advanced avionics, cost index flying, and similar innovations to limit its environmental impact. With the announcement of its partnership with, the California-based air carrier invited its customers to join its efforts to preserve the environment. The carrier announced two new ways for customers to offset the CO2 emissions of their flight, first introducing the option on its ticket confirmation web page and later adding carbon offsetting to the touch-screen entertainment systems located on aircraft seatbacks.

With each pledge to offset their carbon emissions, passengers make a contribution to one of a number of carbon offset projects jointly chosen by Virgin America and Vetted as environmentally impactful, these renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives carry the potential to spur measurable reductions in global carbon emissions. Initial offset projects included the Inland Empire Utilities Agency Biodigester, a Chino Basin, California, methane capture-and-elimination project capable of eliminating 8,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year, and IdleAire, which provides in-cabin electricity at truck stops to reduce drivers’ diesel fuel consumption and corresponding carbon emissions.

Virgin America Sets Industry Example with Climate Registry Commitment

Virgin America pic
Virgin America

Virgin America made history in 2009 by becoming the first American airline to commit to reporting its greenhouse gas emissions. The California-based airline announced its decision to join the Climate Registry, a nonprofit organization dedicated to standardizing the accurate measurement and reporting of carbon emissions, joining a diverse group of environmentally conscious organizations that now total over 300. Overseen by a board of directors comprising a number of North American states and provinces, the Climate Registry collects greenhouse gas emissions data from its member organizations on a yearly basis, holding each to the same comprehensive and transparent reporting standards.

As the only airline based in California, Virgin America took a natural interest in weaving sustainable practices into the heart of its business operations, noted David Pflieger, then Virgin America’s senior vice president of legal, government affairs, and sustainability. Previously, Dave Pflieger guided Virgin America to become a pioneer of sustainability in October 2008, when the passenger airline became the first in its sector to take part in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders initiative. Due to its more recent commitment to the Climate Registry, the airline bolstered its sustainability efforts by agreeing to provide more extensive emissions reports that reflect adherence to the registry’s heightened guidelines.

The strict monitoring and transparent reporting of greenhouse gas emissions is just one of many sustainable initiatives adopted by Virgin America, which has operated with a commitment to environmental sustainability since its inception in 2007. In addition to emissions-reducing innovations such as single engine taxing, cost index flying, and advanced avionics, the carrier introduced a new fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft boasting 25 percent more C02 efficiency than comparable fleets.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy On A Plane

5 Tips For Staying Healthy On A Plane

If you’re a person who is constantly flying for work, chances are you’ve experienced the displeasure of getting a cold or flu after your flight. While airplanes are an extremely convenient and fast way to get from one place to another, they can be very unhealthy environments. Luckily, there are ways to prevent yourself from suffering. Here are a few tips for staying healthy on an airplane.

1) Stay hydrated.

Because of the altitude and low humidity, airplanes are extremely dehydrating environments. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids before and during your flight. One way to make sure you stay hydrated is to prepare beforehand by bringing an empty water bottle to the airport. You can’t bring liquids through security, but if you bring an empty water bottle and fill it whenever you can, your health has a greater chance staying in tip-top shape.

2) Don’t drink alcohol before boarding the plane.

If you’re a nervous flyer or you just want to socialize at the airport, it can be tempting to grab a few drinks at the airport bar before your flight. However, alcohol is very dehydrating, and when you’re going to be in a low-humidity environment like the plane, you’re going to be feeling pretty dehydrated already. Dehydration lowers your resistance to cold and flu germs. Your immune system is also suppressed when you drink. If you want to go to the bar, drink some seltzer water and increase your chances of arriving at your destination feeling healthy.

3) Be active.

If you’re on a long flight, one risk you have to watch out for is developing leg clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The risk of DVTs increases during long periods of immobility, such as time spent sitting on a plane with minimal leg room. Dehydration and low cabin pressure can also cause leg clots. Trying to create situation in which your muscles are contracting your legs are moving. Don’t do any strenuous exercise such as deep knee bends, but it’s a good idea to contract your calf muscles.

4) Pack your own blanket and pillow.

You’ll probably want to get some sleep on the plane, and to stay comfortable, you’ll want a blanket and pillow. There aren’t many airlines that give out blankets and pillows anymore because they harbor germs, but if your airline hands them out, it’s a good idea to forgo those amenities for your own.

5) Prevent dry eyes.

In a dehydrating environment like an airplane, passengers are bound to suffer from dry eyes. While dry eyes may not seem like a huge cause for alarm, people are more likely to rub their eyes when they are dry. Touching your eyes is one of the main ways that cold and flu viruses are transmitted. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before boarding your flight. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently and try to limit the number of times you touch your eyes.

Airplanes can be a difficult environment for even the toughest immune system. Take these precautions to make sure you land feeling just as healthy as you were when you took off.

from Dave Pflieger Aviation

Dave Pflieger Presents: Travel Inspiration

I’ve had the pleasure and oppourtunity to travel to some incredible places and decided to share some of my favorite travel quotes here with photos from my travels to help inspire you guys to get out there!

Dave Pflieger | Travel Inspiration by DavePflieger

from Dave Pflieger Wellness

10 Natural Sleep Remedies


Coffee and other caffeinated beverages can be a godsend, but they can only promise to energize one so much. For the restless and sleepless, the central nervous system stimulant will deliver a sufficiently energy boost before concluding with an inevitable crash Fortunately, there are numerous natural remedies to deal with profound exhaustion and restlessness.

Reports show that we’re getting far less sleep than we were just three decades ago, most Americans acquiring an average of about 6.7 hours of sleep during any given weekday. This escalating trend of American being tired seems tireless. National Sleep Foundation has confirmed that the number of people getting eight hours or more is dwindling, leading to stress, which is associated with sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression, and sleeplessness. December 2013, Gallup communicated that 40 percent of Americans get less than the recommended amount of sleep.

Serotonin, melatonin, 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP), and tryptophan are necessary for the body’s biological clock to run smoothly and for a restful night’s sleep. Interruptions to that conversion of serotonin into melatonin mean less time resting in your cozy bed and more time obsessing over why others are getting more rest than you. The following natural remedies should help with that:

Turn off the Lights: It’s a fact that our bodies are programmed to produce higher levels of melatonin when it is dark, lessening when there is light. So, you’ll be better able to sleep if there are no lights and no screens.

Drink Tart Cherry Juice: Cherry juice is a natural sleep aid that’s filled with tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid. It’s the only amino acid that can convert serotonin into melatonin, which helps prompts drowsiness, lowers the body temperature, and syncs the central nervous system to the biological clock. But remember lights off. This process is inhibited by light.

Valerian: The roots of the Valerian plant can be used as a sleep aid and a sedative. It manages to regulate the action of nerve cells, offering a calming effect by increasing the GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid),.

Consider Feng Shui: So much more than rearranging your space to look appealing, rearranging a space maximizes the flow of good energy and it can lead to a restful night’s sleep. The bed should be easily accessible from all sides, the air in the room should be kept pure, natural light should be allowed in, the bed should be positioned so that it faces the door, and the room should be kept clear of clutter.

Acupuncture: The traditional form of Chinese medicine has long been considered an important healing practice in the world. The insertion of thin needs can open up blocked channels, and signal the release of neuroendocrine chemicals, which helps you to fall asleep.

Remove Your T.V. From the Bedroom: Simple as that. Remove your T.V., which distracts you from receiving the luxurious sleep that you absolutely deserve.

Warm Bath: A few drops of aromatic essential oils added to a tube of warm water can help to wash away the day’s stress. So, you may want to relax into a pool of sudsy water to ease your mind ahead of sleep.

Set A Schedule: If you relax into a schedule it will be easier for you to transition from being awake to being asleep because your body craves ritual. Meditate every night, drink tea every night or read a passage from a good book every night.

Chow Down On a Banana: Bananas aren’t only delicious, but they contain tryptophan, and potassium and magnesium as well, which is just excellent. Magnesium helps to relax your muscles.

Eat Healthy Carbs: This doesn’t mean you should run for the pasta with a side of garlic bread. Instead eat apples and veggies loaded with carbs, such as corn, carrots, and apples. Carbs and the release of insulin make it easier for tryptophan to cross the barrier into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Some other tips include making a lavender sleep sachet, sipping chamomile, using lemon balm, drink down some hops (not in the form of beer), sip warm milk, try a sleep mask, and create a sleeping schedule. The Sleep Cycle app, which is an alarm clock that tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you during the light sleep, is yet another response to the sleep deprivation experienced by the public.

from Dave Pflieger Wellness

Why We Need Corporate Social Responsibility

dave pflieger why we need corporate social responsibilty

From implementing environmentally-friendly policies in the workplace to donating money to nonprofits, more and more companies are making efforts to improve their communities and society at large. This is called corporate social responsibility. In addition to benefitting nonprofits, corporate social responsibility can have a huge positive impact on corporations and employees. Here are all the benefits of corporate social responsibility:

How Corporate Social Responsibility Helps Corporations

1) It improves the company’s public image

Consumers like companies that are socially responsible. Corporations should help nonprofits in any way they can, whether its volunteering, donations, or strong partnerships. Then, they need to let the public know about their philanthropy in order to attract consumers.

2) It gives the company more media coverage

It is important for corporations to build relationships with local media outlets so these outlets can cover stories about the corporation’s impact. If a company has a strong corporate social responsibility program, it is likely to get positive press.

3) There is more employee engagement

Employees want to work for a company that has a good public image. If a company is dedicated to corporate giving, the employees are likely to be more engaged, to stick around longer, and to work hard.

4) It attracts and retains investors

Investors want to know at their funds will be used properly. One of the biggest appeals for investors is company’s donations to nonprofits. This shows investors that the company cares about more than profits.

How Corporate Social Responsibility Helps Nonprofits

1) They get funding from matching gift programs

When a corporation offers a matching gift program, it creates the possibility of doubling the donations that employees are giving to nonprofits. Organizations that want to benefit from these programs are thrilled to receive twice the donations.

2) There is more volunteer participation

Nonprofits are always looking for volunteers, and if a corporation has a volunteer program, this is a great way to generate revenue and volunteer time for nonprofits. Typically, a corporation will offer a certain amount of money to a nonprofit after an employee has volunteered a certain amount of time.

3) Corporate partnerships are formed

When a corporation and a nonprofit forge a partnership, both organizations win. The corporation has more opportunities to help its local community and the nonprofit gains resources for major marketing campaigns. Additionally, the nonprofit’s cause gets more awareness due to the partnership.

4) They get more varied sources of revenue

While donations from individuals make up about three-fourths of a nonprofit’s monetary contributions, corporations and businesses are also viable sources of revenue. Corporation social responsibility allows your corporation to be a part of the remaining 25 percent.

How Corporate Social Responsibility Helps Employees

1) There is a positive workplace environment

If a corporation instills a strong culture of corporate social responsibility in every employee, employees will thrive. The work environment will be more positive, making employees more productive and engaged.

2) Employees feel more creative

When employees feel a stronger connection to their company, they are also more inclined to be creative. Creativity is one of the most important leadership qualities an employee can have.

3) There is more professional and personal growth

By donating their time and money to worthy causes, employees develop professionally and personally. They feel a sense of pride working for a company that cares about worthy causes.

4) It promotes individual philanthropy

When employees work for a company that is involved in philanthropic endeavors, they are likely to take a page from the company’s book and give back on their own. Working for a company that is more socially responsible helps employees become more philanthropically aware. They also learn how to better collaborate with others for important projects.

If you’re a leader at a corporation and you haven’t yet instilled corporate social responsibility, adding it would make for stronger and more well-rounded company. If you’re an employee, bring up corporate social responsibility in the next team meeting. If you’re at a nonprofit, get out there and try to make connections with corporations. Corporate social responsibility is truly beneficial to everyone involved.  

from Dave Pflieger CSR

Norway’s Deforestation Ban

Forests play a vital role not only in their own ecosystems but in the well-being of the entire planet largely through the process of photosynthesis whereby plants and trees in a forest take in a great deal of carbon dioxide during the process, thus reducing atmospheric CO2 levels and releasing oxygen in return. Even though we are well aware of the importance of plants and trees to our existence, that hasn’t stopped deforestation from occurring and being a major contributor to climate change.

Norway is looking to help address that problem, reports Forbes, by effectively “banning” deforestation. Obviously, they aren’t trying to prosecute culprits outside of their jurisdiction. Instead, they are putting in place regulations to ensure that goods coming into their country are not products of deforestation-related activities. Norway’s Standing Committee on Energy and Environment proposed the initiative.A forest that has been affect by deforestation

Crops and products that will be most impacted by the decision include soy, timber, palm oil, and, beef, as they are some of the most common crops associated with widespread deforestation. It is estimated that such crops and products from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea, accounted for 40% of tropical deforestation and 44% of CO2 emissions during the period of 2000 to 2011. However, under Norway’s new regulations, none of  these crops will be able to be imported, unless the provider can produce evidence of sustainable sourcing methods.

This new commitment is a result of the 2014 UN Climate Change Summit. There, the governments of Norway, Germany, and the UK jointly agreed to take actionable steps to encourage the sustainable production of “commodities such as palm oil, soy, beef and timber”. Two years later, Norway has become the first country to introduce legislation designed to put their words into action.

Norway’s efforts may soon have some global financial implications. Biodiversity is expected to become a factor in investment decisions for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.

These efforts are not new in Norway as this Scandinavian country has promoted biodiversity in the past and it even went so far as giving the Brazilian government $1 billion to aid in the cessation of deforestation. The results were admirable— Brazil has saved over 30,000 square miles of rainforest and reduced deforestation rates by 75%.

from Dave Pflieger Environment