With nearly 4,000 flight hours, 2,270 as pilot-in-command; a law degree; and extensive experience in airline financing and operations, David Pflieger brought a wealth of attributes to the table when he joined Pacific Air Limited in 2010 as CEO and Managing Director. The company, which operates Fiji’s national airline, Air Pacific; and a regional subsidiary, Pacific Sun, was struggling in the global recession, experiencing a $F65 million net loss. Utilizing his legal skills, David Pflieger renegotiated union and management contracts. With his business acumen, he rebuilt the management team, downsized the airlines, and restructured the fleet, grounding outdated aircraft and adding A330-200, B737-800, and DH-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
In addition, and perhaps most importantly, David Pflieger upped the game in customer service. He developed a dedicated Guest Service Department to focus on employee training, catering, mishandled baggage, call-center performance, and other areas of operation as well as the website. The seasoned airline executive also improved reliability and on-time performance of the airlines by 15 percent, outranking major competitors Jetstar Airways Pty. Ltd. and Virgin Australia. In addition, he instituted the company’s first fuel-conservation program, cutting such expenditures by 8 percent despite a 28-percent increase in fuel costs.
Previously, David Pflieger served as a key player on the start-up teams of Virgin America; and Song, Ltd., Delta Air Lines’ low-cost carrier, and held senior management posts at both airlines. He also piloted B-737s for Delta while acting as an Operations Attorney and Director of Flight Safety and briefly worked for a major private-practice law firm in Atlanta. A United States Air Force veteran, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, earned a J.D. with distinction at Emory University School of Law, and completed an M.B.A. at Emory University Goizeuta Business School. Mr. Pflieger chairs Tourism Fiji, the country’ national tourism arm; and sits on the board of Richmond Limited, owner of a major resort in Fiji.