Business

Fiji Airways five-year master plan unveiled

More planes More routes More profits By RACHNA LAL Growing the number of aircraft, route network expansion and increasing operating profits and passenger numbers are some key focus areas of
11 Jan 2014 10:45

More planes More routes More profits

Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, during a press conference in Suva yesterday, announced Fiji Airways’ five-year masterplan. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI

Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, during a press conference in Suva yesterday, announced Fiji Airways’ five-year masterplan. Photo: PAULINI RATULAILAI

By RACHNA LAL

Growing the number of aircraft, route network expansion and increasing operating profits and passenger numbers are some key focus areas of Fiji Airways’ five-year strategic plan.
Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, revealed details of this masterplan in Suva yesterday which had been approved by the board in mid-December.
Mr Pichler said this was the first time a strategic plan for the airline was developed bottom up from the management and with input from its customers, people and stakeholders.
“This is our plan, we believe in it and we will make it happen. This is what we want to deliver by building and performing under a highly inspirational global brand – Fiji Airways,” he said.
This strategic masterplan is expected to grow the airline’s network and help drive tourism and the economy in Fiji.

Financial performance strategy
Mr Pichler said the airline would put in place an aggressive financial performance strategy to increase operating profits above FJ$100 million.
This, he said had been planned assuming fuel prices and currency exchange rates at the current levels.
“It is our aim is to be a world class boutique airline and we must match that with an ambitious but solid financial growth plan which expands on current successes and takes our airline to a new level,” he said.
“We need to be sustainably profitable and have a healthy cash flow to pay off our debts and fund new aircraft.”
Increasing the fleet
The airline would increase its fleet size by 25 per cent with the purchase and/or leasing of four new aircraft.
This includes one Airbus A330-200, two Boeing B737-800s and two ATR72-600s (one as a replacement for an ATR 42-500), by 2017.
The additional aircraft would support the company’s plans to grow the number of available seats across all markets by more than a third (35 per cent), and an increase in passenger numbers by 39 per cent, over the next five years.
Proposed capacity increases across the regions include Asia (144 per cent), Pacific Islands (86.6 per cent ), New Zealand (58.9 per cent ), Australia (28.4 per cent) and Domestic (12.3 per cent), while the current seat availability to the US remains stable (- 4.7 per cent).
And the perception of the Airbus purchase defers, Mr Pichler said Fiji Airways was very happy with Airbus as they had delivered what they had promised.
“If we purchase another long-haul aircraft, it will not be anything but A330,” he said.

The Asian market
In terms of network expansion plans, Mr Pichler said they would not take a “trial and error” approach.
“We are focused on the deliberate selection of new routes together with the best airline partnerships,” he said.
“Selection and timings of new routes will depend on detailed scheduling studies together with interlining and code-sharing opportunities, and we will announce these as they are finalised.”
Given the significant proposed capacity increases of 144 per cent in the Asian region, there are a few major countries which are on the cards for Fiji Airways.
These include Singapore, China and Japan.
The airline has already announced three schedule changes resulting from the plan.
These are:
l New direct Sydney-Suva and Apia-Suva services to open up the East Coast to holiday makers and business travellers alike
l An amendment to some Auckland – Nadi departure times to improve ferry and flight connections with the Outer Islands.

Maintaining Fijian workforce
Mr Pichler believes while becoming financially stable and re-investing in the company’s fleet was imperative for Fiji Airways’ future, the key of the future plans was also to build and maintain a strong and loyal workforce.
“As Fiji’s National Airline, we have a responsibility to provide job and career opportunities for Fijians,” he said.
“Our already-announced staff profit share programme forms an integral part of all our financial planning as well.”
Mr Pichler revealed plans to increase their total staff numbers by 28.5 per cent.
“We will invest in a trainee programme and training so we can qualify local people in roles across the company,” he said.
“Part of our vision for 2017 is to be the employer of choice for Fijians.”
Fiji Airways plans to change around from having two-third expatriate and one-third locals currently to having one-third expatriates to two-third locals.
“In 2014, we will recruit 14 local pilots, from flying school, from Pacific Sun and regional airlines and we won’t hire any expatriates,” Mr Pichler said.

Improving services
Mr Pichler highlighted part of the plan also was to review in-flight services, in-flight magazines, review the products and food on board/
He said this project was supposed to finish this year and is one of the many projects.
“We have to review it. We have already done some work already in that area,” he said.
“We now have someone looking into that who is accountable whereas before we did not have anyone reviewing at our product.”




Subscribe to E-Edition
Vodafone-giga-plan
GSMA
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
SPSE
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: