With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation sector, David (Dave) Pflieger has held leadership positions for such companies as Island Air and Virgin America. He led the latter company to become the first airline to report its greenhouse gas measures in The Climate Registry. Having also served as managing director and CEO of Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways), David Pflieger has long demonstrated a commitment to corporate responsibility, as evidenced by his participation in the Mamanuca Environment Society.
Founded in 2001, the Mamanuca Environment Society (MES) aims to protect the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji. The society was born out of the concern of members of the Mamanuca Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association (MFIHTA) about the need to protect and improve the islands’ marine and terrestrial environments.
The society receives financial support through MFIHTA membership contributions and outside monetary donations. With this assistance, the MES engages both local and commercial stakeholders in educational initiatives about protecting the environment. The society also carries out a number of hands-on projects to monitor and protect the islands, including reef check surveys, water quality monitoring, and liquid waste management.
With extensive experience as a senior executive, pilot, and attorney at airlines that include Delta, Song, Virgin America, and Silver Airways, David (Dave) Pflieger most recently served as CEO, president, and board member of Larry Ellison’s airline–Hawaii Island Air.
Prior to that, however, David Pflieger’s biggest accomplishment was the turnaround and rebranding of Air Pacific, which Dave renamed to Fiji Airways. The airline was rebranded to Air Pacific in 1970 in order to promote its South Pacific Island joint nation ownership. Unfortunately, a dated fleet, increasing losses, and intense competition to Fiji from Australian and New Zealand low cost carriers Jetstar, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand, who were offering cheaper flights to tourists in 2008 and 2009, caused the airline, which is majority owned by Fiji’s government, to take a major hit. The airline’s heavy reliance on the Australian and New Zealand tourist market created a perfect storm that made conditions at the struggling airline so dire that by 2010, Air Pacific reported the worst losses in its history and was almost broke.
Despite those challenges, Dave Pflieger and his new management team, led the company through a major restructuring that included cost cutting, revenue improvement, and much improved customer service – all of which combined to allow Air Pacific to bounce back into the black by 2012 – just two years later. That task complete, the airline was then renamed Fiji Airways, and it expanded its reach to US tourists, as well as those from China with its brand new fleet of Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 jets. Since 2013, with a unique new livery/paint scheme on its new planes, the company has continued to grow and achieve ever increasing record profits with an expanding fleet of new planes and more flights to Australia, New Zealand, the US, China, Singapore, and beyond.
Formerly the President and CEO of Hawaii Island Air, Inc. (Island Air), David “Dave” Pflieger led and oversaw highly effective restructuring, turnaround, and sale of Hawaii’s second largest airline in just 15 months. Dave Pflieger’s efforts and successful results were commended by the airline’s current owner and its new investors PaCap Aviation Finance, LLC, and Malama Investments, LLC. both of which are managed by Hawaii’s largest venture capital investment firm, PacifiCap.
Operating flights from Oahu to Maui and Lanai, Island Air is Hawaii’s largest regional airline. Having acquired new majority owners in early 2016, the airline now plans to boost the size of its fleet with additional aircraft that will allow it to expand to other neighbor island destinations. It was for that reason that Dave Pflieger and the new management team recently announced that Island Air would grow its network in mid-March with the addition of six new roundtrip flights between Lihue airport in Kauai and Honolulu in Oahu.
Originally founded as Princeville Airways, Island Air has served Hawaii for more than 35 years. The airline currently provides 224 flights weekly, and its primary aircraft, the ATR-72, accommodates 64 passengers, who are able to benefit from the airline’s low fares while traveling to neighboring islands. For more information about the corporation, visit www.islandair.com.
Island Air posted strong on-time numbers in October 2015 for its scheduled flights between Maui, Oahu, and Lanai. With 710 completed flights, Island Air fulfilled over 99 percent of its scheduled flights. The airline also completed 86.2 percent of its flights on time, defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation as those arriving within 14 minutes of the scheduled arrival time.
According to Island Air CEO Dave Pflieger, the October 2015 numbers are a reflection of the operational improvements made by the company in previous months. Looking forward, Island Air plans to release all flight performance data, enabling customers to gauge the efforts of the airline for themselves. Island Air also encourages customers to provide both positive and negative feedback in order to help the airline build a strong foundation in terms of flight performance and customer satisfaction.
To learn more about flight performance at Island Air or to book affordable inter-island travel within Hawaii, visit http://www.islandair.com.