Sunvoice

The Hard Decisions Which Have Sent Fiji Airways Soaring

It was only five years ago when Fiji Airways (then Air Pacific) had incurred a loss of some $90 million. It was around the same time when policy changes had
14 Apr 2016 09:48
The Hard Decisions Which Have Sent Fiji Airways Soaring
Attorney General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the announcement at the Fiji Airways Hangar, Nasoso Road, Nadi yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

It was only five years ago when Fiji Airways (then Air Pacific) had incurred a loss of some $90 million.

It was around the same time when policy changes had been introduced by the Bainimarama Government, as major shareholder, and the board, to salvage our national carrier.

Some unionists were quick to jump on a bandwagon denouncing the changes. Even some of the then management and staff members were not happy. But they failed to stop the winds of change fast blowing through what was becoming Fiji Airways.

Today, when the airline group has posted a profit of around $70 million and with each of their staff taking home at least $3300 before tax, it is important to recognise the steps taken.

Thankfully, the Government, the board and the new management did not bow down to pressure.

Fiji Airways is in more ways than one now a poster child for other entities. Many lessons can be and should be learnt from the turn around that Fiji Airways has managed.

Firstly, restructuring the organisation to suit its current position in the market. If a company is making losses in millions, some restructuring is obviously needed.

Secondly, more companies should consider the profit sharing policy that Fiji Airways has in place.

This gives the employees a sense of ownership of the organisation they work for. The incentive of having a portion of the profit coming their way can be a great motivator for many, as has been in the case of Fiji Airways.

Thirdly, do not be afraid to make decisions which may not be popular, but prove their merit in the long run.

For example, there were a lot of naysayers when the decision to purchase the A330s was announced. As usual, there had been and continue to be conspiracy theories about the purchase. These came from the usual suspects. Sadly even some ignorant journalists have fuelled conspiracy theories by not fully comprehending how exactly financial transactions are undertaken in international markets.

Fourthly, do not be afraid to hire top level expatriates if that international expertise is what is needed to make the changes happen.

Fiji Airways continues to soar to great heights. The nation benefits. So do the Fiji Airways group staff.

None of this would have happened if hard decisions had not been taken and those involved had the determination and know how to see them through.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Total Excellium
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper