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Big Shoes To Fill At Fiji Airways As Pichler Heads To Air Berlin In Germany

Fiji saw something special in Stefan Pichler when he was appointed a little over a year ago as the chief executive officer of Fiji Airways. Now, the Germans want him
05 Nov 2014 09:47
Big Shoes To Fill  At Fiji Airways  As Pichler Heads  To Air Berlin  In Germany

Fiji saw something special in Stefan Pichler when he was appointed a little over a year ago as the chief executive officer of Fiji Airways.

Now, the Germans want him back to turn around the fortunes of Air Berlin.

Never been one to be economical with facts even when not in his and the national carrier’s favour, Mr Pichler won himself quite a following in the country.

His determination, that locals should be carrying the national carrier forward as opposed to overseas-based consultants and expatriates, also won him the loyalty of many at Fiji Airways.

Mr Pichler will continue to play an important role in Fiji Airways.

He will remain on the airline’s board and will supervise the execution of the five-year plan which he helped formulate.

And, he already has a set of criteria in mind on the character of the person who he will help recruit to succeed him.

On February 1, Mr Pichler will officially join Air Berlin as the managing director/chief executive officer. He intends to have his successor appointed before he leaves.

While a lot of attention will now be focused on his departure and conspiracy theories will no doubt fly thick and fast, it is important to note how the national carrier fared under his leadership. Mr Pichler’s style of leadership was very different from his predecessor.

He believed in maintaining a relationship with his staff even after office hours. He held regular meetings with staff where they were not afraid to speak out and he was not willing to hold anything against anyone.

Despite this announcement of his departure, Mr Pichler is determined to see that Fiji Airways continues its rapid growth in the right direction.

The deal has almost been inked on two new additions to our fleet- one 737 and one A330.

This will also in turn open up new routes to Fiji. Never been one to take any decision without sound business backing, Mr Pichler is still adamant that new destinations will be identified after much research and discussions.

And, his magic was not just confined to Fiji Airways. Mr Pichler was highly popular on the Tourism Fiji board.

His mantra is to love the country where he is. He says this helped him think about nothing but the best for Fiji.

Like he said, no one is irreplaceable but his successor certainly has big shoes to fill.

 




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