David Pflieger Bids Farewell to a Renewed Fiji Airways


Fiji Airways

A few days before returning to America to begin the next leg of his career at Miami-based Silver Airways, former Fiji Airways executive David Pflieger was asked to join his staff at the company’s hangar in Nadi, Fiji. The event was planned as a send-off for the widely-acclaimed aviation business leader, who three years prior had accepted a contract to serve as the firm’s managing director and CEO. When Dave arrived in 2010, he faced the daunting task of leading the company out of a significant financial crisis, but he ultimately succeeded at orchestrating a turnaround that positioned Fiji Airways as a successful and internationally competitive company.

Mr. Pflieger described the privilege and honor of working with the skilled Fiji Airways team, who in turn highlighted many of the accomplishments achieved under his leadership. With David Pflieger at the helm, the airline brought in $16.5 million in annual profits just a few years after reporting losses of $91.8 million. Behind this impressive renewal were improvements to customer service and reliability, which included a large investment in the airline’s new fleet—the first-ever fleet of purchased wide-body aircraft. Fiji Airways also increased its investment in its employees, establishing first-ever performance-incentive and profit-sharing programs.

One of the more noteworthy changes introduced during the Fiji Airways turnaround was the establishment of a corporate social responsibility program. In addition to formalizing the airline’s commitment to causes such as the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises and Development (FRIEND) and the Mamanuca Environment Society, the initiative led to the development of Fiji’s first-ever community health & wellness clinic.

The numerous improvements spearheaded by Mr. Pflieger during his time at Fiji Airways helped it to establish a global reputation for performance quality and customer service. During his tenure, the airline received its first accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, making the publication’s list of the Top 10 Small Airlines for two consecutive years.

An Overview of Island Air and Its Future

Island Air pic
Island Air
Image: islandair.com

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.

Fiji’s Vacation Adventures

David Pflieger serves as the CEO of Hawaii Island Air, an airline that provides service between the islands of Hawaii.  Dave Pflieger’s aviation career began in the U.S. Air Force where he flew as a B-52 and C-130 pilot before he became an attorney with the prestigious law firm of King & Spalding and later worked as the chief operations attorney for Delta Air Lines.  After helping launch Virgin America as one of its founding officers, Dave Pflieger was recruited to be the CEO of Air Pacific Ltd., Fiji‘s national carrier, which he re-fleeted and rebranded to “Fiji Airways” and while in Fiji, Dave led and oversaw the rebranding and revitalization of the country’s national tourism office.

via surphile

Fiji places great emphasis on tourism, making it a top vacation destination. Visitors to Fiji can enjoy a host of outdoor adventure activities, including boating, cave and helicopter tours, and parasailing. Plenty of hiking opportunities exist: Dawasamu’s Tova Peak hike in the District of Dawasamu, Tailevu, is one. Locations such as Beqa Lagoon Reef offer snorkeling opportunities through fishing charters and cruises.

Fiji’s wildlife park is located at Kula Eco Park, offering visitors the opportunity to see native animals such as the endangered Fijian iguana.

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.