Tourism

We Have To Start Bringing People Back, Says Viljoen

Mr Viljoen made this comment when questioned by Fiji National University School of Management lecturer, Auta Moceisuva during the question and answer session at FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies Dean’s Coffee with Leaders and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the FNU and Fiji Airways at FNU’s Namaka Campus in Nadi on Friday.
28 Jun 2022 15:51
We Have To Start Bringing People Back, Says Viljoen
Fiji Airways Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andre Viljoen.

Fiji Airways Chief Executive Officer, Andre Viljoen says it still pains him to think that the airline had to reduce staff when the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll.

Mr Viljoen made this comment when questioned by Fiji National University School of Management lecturer, Auta Moceisuva during the question and answer session at FNU’s College of Business, Hospitality and Tourism Studies Dean’s Coffee with Leaders and the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the FNU and Fiji Airways at FNU’s Namaka Campus in Nadi on Friday.

 

Mr Moceisuva asked Mr Viljoen on Fiji Airways progression with filling the positions following the staff reduction during COVID-19 and if FNU was seen to play a role in the labor market with Fiji Airways.

Mr Viljoen said it was a very difficult period for the airline.

 

“We went through a very difficult moment of having to decide to take the pain and the sacrifice to reduce our colleagues, I still have pain over that everyday but it’s something we had to do,” he said.

“We had to start bringing people back, we are doing it progressively and we are still ramping up.”

“We are not flying at 100% today, we still have markets like the whole South Pacific, we have Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Singapore has just opened slightly now.”

“We don’t have a 100 per cent of our people back so it is a slow process.”

 

He also highlighted the commitment the women employed at Fiji Airways showed during the pandemic.

“A leader is only as good as the people they have and I always say if you can do it all on your own you don’t need a team and the one thing that I can say without any hesitation is I have an amazing team, I have unbelievable leadership,” he added.

“When you have a very strong women power in the company, 40 per cent of our staff are women, we have strong leaders and they have played an enormous role, our women, during COVID.”

“They brought a level of intuition of guidance, balance in the business we would have never had without our women power.”

 

Mr Viljoen said he was keen to work closely with the university.

“Can FNU play a role?

“Absolutely, and an area that I can just mention is our accounting and finance staff.”

“We have seen a lot of them being poached off to Australia, New Zealand and we have a huge shortage and we know we can work together where you can help us,” he added.

 

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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