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Air Pacific turnaround a lesson, says A-G

June 27
10:43 2012

The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (right), with the managing director of Performance Floatation Developments, Michael Towler, during his visit at the Performance Floatation Development premises in Nabua yesterday. Photo: RACHNA LAL

By RACHNA LAL

As majority shareholders of Air Pacific, Government says it is pleased with the turnaround in profits announced by the board of Air Pacific on Monday.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said a lot of hard work had gone into turning the company around.
“We must recognise and thank the chief executive, Dave Pflieger, and the management and staff who worked in collaboration to ensure that we have a turnaround in the company,” he said.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum indicated the financial turnaround by Air Pacific was a lesson in itself for other companies in Fiji.
“It goes to show that with discipline and particular focus, and with collaboration, numerous other institutions in Fiji can benefit,” he said.
Air Pacific Limited reported an operating profit of $16.5 million, compared to an operating loss of $3.7m for the previous financial year and its biggest ever operating loss of $91.8m two years ago.
The Air Pacific Group also reported an operating profit of $13.4m, compared to an operating loss of $4.3m for the previous year.
Air Pacific embarked on a comprehensive restructuring and transformation plan in May 2010 to return the airline to sustained profitability.
The Minister acknowledged that tough decisions were made, but the financial results demonstrated they were the right decisions.
“The company’s turnaround will no doubt benefit all the staff,” he said.
“It benefits the workers directly as they will start sharing the profits and it obviously means Air Pacific will be able to hire a lot more people.”
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it also ensures we have an airline that continues to bring tourists despite whatever conditions might take place, locally and internationally.
“So the message we all need to understand is that Air Pacific has done well because of the co-operation and working together of the management and the staff,” he said.
He nevertheless maintains there still remains a lot more work to be done.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there were interesting times ahead for Air Pacific especially with the name change to Fiji Airways and the bringing in of three brand new Airbus A330-200 next year.
“This will be elevating the company to a different platform altogether – to a higher stature,” he said.
“This also means the staff will be brought to a higher stature also in terms of training and exposure,” he said.

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