Pacific and Oceania

Fiji Airways appoints new Chairman and Director


Fiji Airways Group shareholders today announced changes to the company’s Board of Directors following its Annual General Meeting, with a new Chairman and Director appointed.

Incumbent Chairman Mr. Nalin Patel and Director Mr. Stefan Pichler were both farewelled by the shareholders, and replaced on the Board by Mr. Rajesh Punja, Director of the Punja Group of Companies and Mr. Shaheen Ali, Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism, respectively.

Three existing Board Directors will continue for another term. They are:

– Retired executive Mr. Aslam Khan

– Solicitor General Mr. Sharvada Sharma and, Managing Director and CEO (MDCEO) Mr. Andre Viljoen.

Making the announcement on behalf of major shareholder the Fijian Government, Fijian Attorney General and Minister for Public Enterprises and Civil Aviation the Honourable Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum thanked the outgoing Directors for their service to Fiji’s National Airline.

“Mr. Patel has been a Director of Fiji Airways since 1993, and Chairman since 2006”, the AG said. “He has been part of the airline through some of the most challenging and rewarding transformations in its history, and we thank him for his dedication and commitment to this very important Fijian company.”

“During his Chairmanship, Fiji Airways has rebranded into a proud National Carrier which operates profitably. With the support of the Bainimarama Government and now the FijiFirst Government, a number of legacy issues have been addressed, the whole fleet modernised, the working conditions of staff have greatly improved including profit sharing and the airline’s network and footprint has expanded. Mr. Nalin Patel and former MD/CEO Stefan Pichler were both key in driving these changes. We owe them our gratitude.”

The Hon. Minister added that 2016 will be an important year for the airline, marking 65 years since its existence.
“With the addition of new aircraft like the incoming A330-300 and new routes like Singapore from April, Fiji Airways will continue to grow. The revamped Board of Directors along with the shareholders will provide the airline’s management, under new MDCEO Andre Viljoen, all the support they need to ensure the airline provides returns to its shareholders, staff and the Fijian economy.”

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