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Fiji Airways Guidance Into The Future

Outgoing Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, said the airline has a good management in place together with established processes and structures within the company. This is something he
05 Nov 2014 11:33
Fiji Airways Guidance Into The Future

Outgoing Fiji Airways managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler, said the airline has a good management in place together with established processes and structures within the company.

This is something he believes will enable it to grow in the near future in a very profitable way

“I will show in my role which is not as active CEO but as a board member, to make sure that Fiji Airways continues in the right direction,” he said.

“Not on day to day management but on the Board in supervision of the execution of the strategy, which is an important part.

“We have an exciting future, we have new ATR 72 coming in December. We have a new 737 coming in April and two days ago, we signed a MOU for a new A330 which will come by the end of next year.”

 

Strategic plan

Mr Pichler said the board approved five-year strategic plan has been a success so far and by the end of this year, big profit numbers will be announced.

“The only problem we will have in the five-year plan is that we will have to up the target for next year because this year we have been very good,” he said.

“We will make sure as a board that the five-year plan implemented as approved by the Board, those strategic initiatives like pilot progression plans and others will be realised.

“While I am there to see to long term localisation of cabin crew and we will do that because that is the right thing to do.”

“We will also try to make sure that the planning for the future is conservative, it’s holistic, realistic, it is not dreams. It should be dreams that will become reality.

“To build a brand takes ten to fifteen years. We are on track. We are getting there. We have very good base because the Fijians here are very proud of Fiji Airways.

“Every day I get between five to ten customer feedback and while a few are complaints but we are receiving more and more positive feedback daily.”

Mr Pichler had been very frank about not having many expatriates working for Fiji Airways and upon his appointment, he did away with a number of consultants and expatriates.

While being part of the board, he said he will make sure the trend continues.

On lighter note, he said: “Well if I see a couple of consultants hoping off here, I will just jump over and kill them. I was kidding.

“I will not kill them but I will make sure that we get rid of them. What we have here is a very good and able management team which is a good mix of local management and expats.

“The expats we have are coaching the local guys which is very, very important. This is the right direction to go and I will make sure that we will continue on that path.”

 

Hunt for successor

Mr Pichler said he needs his successor to be a team player who will continue to take the national carrier in the right direction.

“I will make sure that we have somebody who is able to motivate the team, who will be a team player, who will interact with our staff,” he said.

“This is because that is what we need to do, that is the secret of our success. We are on the right path and we have to make sure who ever comes here follows suit.

“We are now running a tender process to select the right recruiting agency which will be done today and once we identify the recruiting agency, they will deliver a long list and shortlist of candidates and we will interview those candidates.

“We will make sure we have somebody on board very soon.”

 

Fiji Airways right now

Before his departure on February 1, Mr Pichler will be busy.

“Two things we are working on right now – firstly, to finalise the deal for the new A330 aircraft which joins the fleet next year,” he said.

“The second is opening up of a new joint venture call centre in Suva in January which will be great.

“The third initiative is now making case studies on what we are going to fly with the new aircrafts.

“The 737 aircraft, for example, we are investigating whether to fly this aircraft to Wellington, Canberra or Adelaide and we have to make a business case to make the right call.

“We also have to investigate now with the A330, where we want to fly to- do we want to fly to Shanghai, do we want to fly to Tokyo, and then we have to engage in talks with potential partner airlines.

“We will not fly to mainland China without having a Chinese airline partner to feed into Shanghai if we fly there. The same is for Tokyo.”

 

About Tourism Fiji

Mr Pichler, who is the chairman of Tourism Fiji and will be vacating that post as well, confirmed they are now in the process of selecting a new CEO.

“We have shortlisted two candidates and we are going to interview these candidates in the next couple of weeks and hopefully have a new CEO in Tourism Fiji by also February or March next year,” he said.

“With new Tourism Fiji CEO, we can work on having strong management there. I think we need to up our game in Tourism Fiji.”

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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