Fiscal year 2014 was a huge success for the Fiji Airways Group, which posted record operating profits of $60.8 million on $770 million in revenue for the year. A twofold increase over the group’s previous operating profit record that was set in 2005, the $60.8 million figure represents the dividends of a year marked by a 4.5 percent increase in passengers, a 2 percent decrease in unit cost, and an 8.2 percent increase in load factor. This success can be directly attributed to the airline’s turnaround, revitalization, and rebranding effort that was launched and completed under the leadership of Dave Pflieger, the company’s CEO and Managing Director from 2010 to late 2013.
A struggling airline operating as Air Pacific Ltd., Fiji’s national airline was in dire need of a turnaround as it entered the second decade of the 21st century. Pflieger’s strategy for success revolved around fixing the airline’s operational, customer service, and financial performance and enhancing Fiji’s international status as a tourist destination. Rebranding the airline under its previous moniker, Fiji Airways, was a key component of that strategy. The turnaround was a success, as this past year’s financial results have shown. The year 2014 represented a record-breaking one for the company, which has garnered accolades from the Fijian attorney general, who greeted the latest profit report as a “wonderful day for Fiji” and a “historic achievement.”