Come October 1, 2015, Fiji Airways will have a new CEO and managing director, in the form of current head of Air Mauritius, Andre Viljoen.
The announcement, made by chairman of Fiji Airways, Nalin Patel, comes on the back of the company’s recent transformation, that included a rebranding from Air Pacific and a fleet upgrade.
Currently, the airline is exploring further commercial opportunities, including new routes.
Viljoen will join the firm with 33 years of experience in the airline and tourism industries, and has been the CEO of Air Mauritius since 2010.
Patel said the Board was extremely pleased that the Company would be led by someone, who as CEO of Air Mauritius, had transformed that airline, restored it to profitability and attained the coveted Skytrax 4 Star rating for product and service.
“We believe he is the perfect person to lead Fiji Airways and will have the full support of the Board, together with our experienced management and team.”
Viljoen added, “I am very excited to be joining Fiji Airways, the leading airline in the South Pacific, and will continue to build on its strong brand and lead its dedicated team to even greater heights”.
On behalf of the Fijian government, the airline’s majority shareholder, the attorney general and Minister for Public Enterprises, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, welcomed Viljoen’s appointment.
“I’m delighted that Fiji Airways has been able to attract yet another outstanding international airline executive to head our national carrier and fulfil our ambition to make it the world’s best boutique carrier,” he said.
He added that Viljoen has “big shoes to fill in replacing Stefan Pichler”, who produced a record financial result for Fiji Airways last year.