Air Pacific’s Return to Fiji Airways

Fiji Airways pic
Fiji Airways
Image: fijiairways.com

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.

Advertisements

Packing for a Fiji Vacation

With an aviation career spanning over 20 years, David (Dave) Pflieger is the president and CEO of Hawaii Island Air. Dave Pflieger was previously an instrumental player in the launch of Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways), an airline operating out of Fiji. Travel to Fiji can be exciting, but it is important to know how to pack for such a trip to get the most out of the experience. The following are some tips:

Fiji has a very warm climate, so bringing mostly light layers is usually sufficient. During the time spent at a resort, swimsuits and shorts are an acceptable and practical form of dress, but while venturing into Fijian villages, it is necessary to dress more modestly. It is also recommended that travelers wear cotton clothing as well as any clothing that shields and provides protection from the sun, which can be intense in this region. When packing, travelers should also bear in mind that while nights are typically warm, it can be beneficial to have a light extra layer on hand. The occasional downpour that may occur also calls for having adequate waterproof clothing on hand.

Over-the-counter medications and simple first-aid items are also important items to pack, since it can be difficult in the region’s remote areas to find the most basic medical supplies. Having pain medication, band-aids, and other rudimentary supplies can potentially mean the difference between enjoying the trip or suffering unnecessarily from a minor ailment for lack of access to adequate treatment. Other useful items include plastic bags for containing valuables in and around water, a day pack for carrying daily necessities around, and a flashlight.

Air Pacific Adds the Airbus A330 to Its Fleet

Dave PfliegerLongtime aviation professional David (Dave) Pflieger worked for notable airline companies over the course of his career, including Air Pacific, Ltd. As CEO and managing director of Air Pacific, Dave Pflieger, spearheaded the initiative to acquire new aircraft for the company’s fleet and therefore increased flight services and tourism.

In 2013, Fiji Airways, formerly known as Air Pacific, welcomed the latest addition to its fleet, the Airbus A330. The company purchased three airplanes to replace its existing B747 and B767 models, which are less fuel efficient. The new aircraft expanded the company’s flight connections to countries such as India and China, with the possibility of extending service to areas of Europe. Its increased service also created more jobs for professionals in the airline industry.

The Airbus A330 is made of advanced composite materials and ultra-light alloys. Using state-of-the-art technology to design the aircraft, Airbus developed a new wing design for its A330 model that results in improved takeoff and landing performance. Further, the aircraft features three jet engines that reduce maintenance costs and the amount of fuel burned during flight.

Vacation Options Abound in Fiji

With more than two decades in the aviation industry, David Pflieger is head of Hawaii Island Air which services the Hawaiian Islands.  Dave Pflieger’s aviation career began in 1987 when he started flying as a B-52 pilot with the U.S. Air Force, where he spent 10 years. Soon after, Dave Pflieger began working for Delta Airlines as an operations attorney, launching his successful airline career from there and leading him to his current role with Hawaii Island Air. Just prior to this position, Mr. Pflieger led and oversaw the highly successful restructuring and turnaround of Air Pacific Ltd., a Fiji-based airline serving the South Pacific. Destinations like Fiji have a lot to offer, with a strong focus on tourism.

Visitors to Fiji may enjoy numerous activities such as boating, cave and helicopter sky tours, parasailing, spa treatments, and more on the islands. Numerous hiking opportunities exist, such as the Dawasamu’s Tova Peak hike in the District of Dawasamu, Tailevu. Snorkeling opportunities can be found in places like Beqa Lagoon Reef through fishing charters and cruises. The company provides any necessary gear, so novices and hobbyists alike can participate. Kula Eco Park hosts the only wildlife park in Fiji, with opportunities to see a variety of native animals, such as the endangered Fijian iguana.

Opportunities abound for visitors to Fiji, and Air Pacific can help travelers get there. Visit www.fiji.travel for more information.