SUNBIZ

Andre Viljoen’s Unfinished Business

Andre Viljoen’s four-year contract with Fiji Airways expires this year. And he is keen to have his contract renewed. But the CEO and managing director should not be unduly worried
24 Jun 2018 15:28
Andre Viljoen’s Unfinished Business
A Fiji Airways A330 aircraft

Andre Viljoen’s four-year contract with Fiji Airways expires this year.

And he is keen to have his contract renewed.

But the CEO and managing director should not be unduly worried because it is almost certain that a new contract is coming his way. So far he has lifted the airline to new heights and his performance has impressed the key stakeholders including the board of directors, the Government as the biggest shareholder and the employees.

He wants to continue because he has unfinished business to accomplish. One of his pet projects is to get Fiji Airways a four-star rating in the Skytrax rating of airlines.

At the moment  it has three stars which is remarkable for an 18-aircraft airline.

To attain four stars will be an incredible achievement for a small national airline like Fiji Airways.

Mr Viljoen said: “We want Skytrax to come and do an audit. They gave us a gap analysis and we have been working on these gaps.

“They’ve recently done another audit, and we are obviously holding thumbs that we’ve got to 4-star.

“They have found a lot of stuff that we are doing for 4-star and they have found a few things that we needed to go and relook at.

“It’s a journey, you know you can be 4-star today, in a week, or tomorrow. We keep working at it.”

He said the rating was not based on airline size.

“Rating is based on audits of the processes that you have, the attitude of the staff, how they deliver things, the warmth and friendliness, and the professionalism, the quality of your food.

“So it’s really two parts to it. One is the functional side. Do things work?

“Do the toilets work? Do the seats work? Does the inflight entertainment have enough movies on? Is the quality of the food good?

“Then there’s the emotional side, the people side. You know you can be warm and friendly but give a lousy service.

“Does not mean that if you are warm and friendly that the service is good.”

When Mr Viljoen joined Fiji Airways he asked Shaenaz Voss (now Executive General Manager, Fiji Link and Group Corporate, International and Government Affairs) to take up the portfolio of customer experience because “one of the changes we made in the airline which has really made a difference is customer service.”

He said they had realised that until “you appoint an executive to be the head of customer service and own it across the company” it would be difficult to achieve the desired outcome.

“The experience is one person’s responsibility. You’ve got a holistic view and you can also ensure that it’s seamless across, equal across and consistent across.

“That’s the first thing we do. One owner of the customer.” He said it had worked for them.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



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