Measures to turn around the performance of Fijian leisure carrier Air Pacific are proving successful, according to chief executive Dave Pflieger.
Speaking to Flightglobal he says while elements of the restructuring programme are still to be enacted, two stages are already complete.
"The first thing we did was bring a new team on board. Of the top 18 managers in the company, 16 people are new," he says. Pflieger explains this process "didn't involve bringing in a lot of expats" and instead entailed "promoting people from within, finding the right people in Fiji".
He says the second stage entailed "focusing on the basics: safety, operational performance and customer service andmaking sure people come to work".
Pflieger adds: "We were letting people check in for international flights 30 minutes before departure, so we changed that by an hour and that immediately [improved] our on-time performance by 10-15%." On domestic services Air Pacific allowed passengers to check-in 15 minutes before departure, which has been increased to 30 minutes. "When you let people check in at the last minute you have inaccurate loadings which means you have inaccurate fuel loads which means higher fuel burn and all those sort of thing. It all cascades," he says.
The final stage of the airline's restructuring will take place after Air Pacific reverts to its old name of Fiji Airways.
He says that the rebranding will coincide with the delivery of the airline's three new Airbus A330-200s, which will replace its Boeing 747-400s. The new aircraft will be the first that Air Pacific has purchased and the first to be liveried with the airline's Fiji Airways branding.
Two years into its restructure, the carrier announced a 15.6% year-on-year growth in revenue for the 2011/12 fiscal year to F$678 million ($376 million) and operating profit of F$13.4 million in comparison with a loss of F$4.3 million in FY2010/11.