NADI, Fiji – Fiji Airways’ Managing Director and CEO, Stefan Pichler, has been asked by the German Government to help turnaround Germany’s national airline – Air Berlin – and will return home in February 2015 to do so.
Fiji Airways’ Chairman, Nalin Patel, expressed that the Board of Fiji Airways makes this announcement with great regret but respects Mr. Pichler’s decision to respond to the call of his country.
Mr. Patel continues, “The Board of Fiji Airways will immediately begin the search for a suitable successor to lead Fiji Airways into the next exciting chapter of its story, which includes the development of more aircraft, more flights, and new destinations.”
Mr. Pichler will assist with the selection of the successor as well as the transition period that follows. He will also remain as a Board Member of Fiji Airways and continue supporting the strategic development of the Group.
Mr. Patel states, “Great progress has been made at Fiji Airways, and the company is definitely on track for a successful future. The Board will make sure Fiji Airways continues to deliver outstanding value to its customers, its staff, and its shareholders.”
Managing Director and CEO Stefan Pichler adds, “It is with tears in my eyes that I have to leave the most rewarding job in my career. Our management team, each of our dear staff members, and our loyal supporters in Fiji and abroad have been really unique and very special to me. As a Board member, I will help to make sure that Fiji Airways stays its path in becoming the best boutique airline in the world.”
The Honorable Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, comments on behalf of the Government, “We regret Stefan’s departure, but we are extremely confident that the team at Fiji Airways will rise to this situation and continue full speed ahead on its path to success. Under Stefan’s leadership, Fiji Airways has put in place accountable and transparent processes and management systems, which are crucial for the next stage of the airline’s growth. Despite his premature departure, his continued presence on the Board will help ensure that these continue. Fiji needs a strong airline to support our dynamic economic growth plans; and therefore, the Government will make sure that Fiji Airways as well as Fiji Link continue to fly high in the right direction.”