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Exit Clause Allowed Pichler Resignation

Fiji Airways outgoing managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler’s contract, many other such contracts, is understood to have had an exit clause. This is what had enabled him to give his
06 Nov 2014 10:28
Exit Clause Allowed Pichler Resignation

Fiji Airways outgoing managing director/chief executive, Stefan Pichler’s contract, many other such contracts, is understood to have had an exit clause.

This is what had enabled him to give his resignation with three months notice before he joins Air Berlin from February 1.

It followed high-level approaches from his home coutnry to return and lead struggling Air Berlin.

Meanwhile, Mr Pichler’s accessibility and transparency had made him very popular amongst tourism stakeholders.

Fijian tourism visionary and managing director of Rosie Group, Tony Whitton, said Mr Pichler always made quick sound decisions and did not believe in procrastinating.

Mr Whitton said having dealt with Mr Pichler from the Rosie Holidays Group side, he found the outgoing CEO/MD a person who was ready to listen.

Mr Whitton said as far as he was aware, Mr Pichler was the first head of the national carrier who made his five-year strategic plan public and readily available to all tourism stakeholders.

He said that based on this, his company had been able to ensure their expansion plans were in line with what Fiji Airways had projected.

This was critical, keeping in mind the national carrier flew in more than 60 per cent of tourists into the country.

“His five-year plan is more realistic and achievable. We have also enjoyed his sense of humour and he has always had an open door policy,” Mr Whitton said.

He said from the industry side, he found Mr Pichler responsive to comments and concerns raised.

“We have dealt with him regarding capacity in US and Australia markets and capacity into Hong Kong and China market,” he said.

“The fact that he also made his five-year plan available to us so that we can also plan our expansion accordingly showed his level of transparency.”

Mr Whitton said Mr Pichler leaves big shoes to fill.

Great reviews about Mr Pichler are also coming out of Tourism Fiji where he was recently appointed the chairman.

Staff members within the organisation have said that within two months, they have been able to achieve more under Mr Pichler’s leadership than before.

 

Government reaction

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said Government regrets Stefan’s departure.

“But we are extremely confident that the team at Fiji Airways will rise to this situation and continue full speed ahead on their path to success.

“Under Stefan’s leadership, Fiji Airways has put in place accountable and transparent processes and management systems which are crucial for the next stage of the airline’s growth.

“Despite his premature departure, his continued presence on the Board will help ensure that these continue.

“Fiji needs a strong airline to support our dynamic economic growth plans and therefore the Government will make sure that Fiji Airways as well as Fiji Link will continue to fly high in the right direction”.

Fiji Airways’ chairman, Nalin Patel, said: “Great progress has been made at Fiji Airways and the company is definitely on track for a successful future.

“The Board will make sure that Fiji Airways will continue to deliver outstanding value to its customers, its staff and its shareholders.”

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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