The Chairman of Air Pacific Limited Trading as Fiji Airways, Nalin Patel, announced today that the Board has appointed Stefan Pichler as the new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer effective 1st September 2013.
Patel said that after an extensive global search the Board was delighted to have Pichler join the company on its road ahead: “Pichler is a proven Chief Executive with a strong track record in turning businesses around and growing them to new levels. He has extensive global experience, not only in all airline business models, but also in the tourism industry.”
Pichler is currently Chief Executive Officer of Jazeera Airways where he led the company in the last four years to a remarkable turnaround, achieving the highest operating profit margins in the industry in 2011 and 2012. He was recently awarded the “Personal Achievement of the Year Award 2012” by Business Aviation for the Jazeera Airways turnaround.
Before that, he was responsible for Virgin Blue’s transformation from a low cost carrier to a network airline and served as their Chief Commercial Officer. Pichler also launched Virgin Blue’s long haul carrier V Australia in 2008 and served as its Chairman. Formerly the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Cook AG, where Pichler built the company from a national German tour operator to the world’s second largest leisure group, he has also held Senior and Executive Board roles with Lufthansa AG.
Pichler commented on his appointment: “I am excited to join Fiji Airways on the road ahead to build a bright future, based on a strong brand and a dedicated team. Together, we will build a company which every Fijian can be proud of.”
“This a remarkable confluence of the right person in the right place at the right time. Mr. Pichler’s distinctive career experience and outstanding accomplishments established him as the best possible fit for CEO of Fiji Airways. We are confident that under his leadership Fiji Airways will continue to modernise, grow and prosper as we move forward into the future in this significant new chapter in the history of Fiji Airways, “ said Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation. “Pichler is taking charge as the momentum for progress is already in place—a solid partnership among all the staff of the airline, all interested in the same thing—the continued success of Fiji Airways.”
Patel assured Pichler of the full support of the Board and experienced management team and also thanked Swift for acting as the interim CEO until 31st August 2013.
-fiji airways press release