Stefan Pichler

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Stefan Pichler has been appointed the Managing Director & CEO of Fiji Airways (formerly known as Air Pacific) in September 2013 where he will drive the rebranding of the airline as well as the future expansion. [1] Prior to this, Pichler served as the CEO of Jazeera Airways K.S.C., a public listed airline on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, since June 2009. He has been responsible for a successful turnaround program which helped the company to return to sustainable profitability.[2] Pichler has transformed the low cost carrier into a regional network airline which resulted in a significant higher revenue performance. ,[3] In 2011, the operating profit margin was the second highest in the global airline industry (25.6%) and in 2012, this margin improved to 30.2%.

From 2004 to 2009, Pichler was part of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. As a CCO he was responsible for Virgin Blue’s transition from a low cost carrier to a network carrier.[4] As changes in the network, product, pricing and distribution materialized, the Australian airline Virgin Blue became one of the most profitable global airlines in 2006 and 2007. Pichler als served as the Chairman of V Australia, the new Virgin Group long haul carrier which launched in 2008.[5]

From 2000 to 2004 Pichler served as the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Cook AG.[6] The company started as an integrated German leisure business named C & N (Condor & Neckermann)and then purchased Thomas Cook Travel in the Uk, Havas Voyages in France and some smaller tour operators to become the world’s second largest leisure group. After 9/11, Pichler was forced to consolidate the group performance by launching several cost cutting programs.[7] Previously, Pichler held some Senior and Executive Board roles with Deutsche Lufthansa AG.[8] He joined Lufthansa in 1989 as the Marketing & Sales Manager for France, then became Managing Director of Lufthansa France in 1991. In 1995 he was appointed as Managing Director for Lufthansa Germany and in 1997 as the Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing as well as a Member of Lufthansa’s Executive Board.

Pichler also acted as a non-executive Director and Chairman of international corporations such as Steigenberger Hotels AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Berlin Messe GmbH and Fraport AG in Germany, Grupo Iberostar in Spain, Havas in France, Thomas Cook in UK and India and TTF in Australia. He currently also serves as Chairman of Fiji Tourism. [9] Stefan Pichler was a former internationally ranked marathon runner and started his business career as the Head of Sport Promotions at NIKE International in Beaverton/Oregon. He has a Masters Degree in both Law and Economics from Augsburg University and a post graduate degree from INSEAD.

Pichler was elected "Touristic Manager of the Year" by Focus business magazine for 3 consecutive years in Germany.[10] in 2012, Pichler won the "Personal Achievement of the Year" Award from Aviation Business for the successful turnaround of Jazeera Airways.[11]


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