As he demonstrated at Virgin America, Dave Pflieger also believes that any company, especially an employer with a large staff, should have the initiative to give back to their community. He often told his staff there and at Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) that companies that have massive resources should use those resources to better society and also set an example that encourages other corporate citizens to do the same – especially since companies have a far greater impact on local and national communities than any individual can.
Dave Pflieger quickly fell in love with the pristine beauty and people of Fiji after arriving there in May 2010 to run Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways). The exotic country located deep in the South Pacific is lush with reefs, fishing, and surfing that attracts tourists from all over the world. As a result, and given his intense interest in preserving the environment and helping local communities, Dave Pflieger wanted to ensure that Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) used its prominent position as the national airline of Fiji and one of the country’s largest companies to protect one of Fiji’s most precious resource, its pristine island environment and beauty.
It was for that reason, that inAugust of 2012, Dave Pflieger and the Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) team partnered with the Mamanuca Environmental Society (MES) to launch a new company green initiative that assisted and further strengthened the Mamanuca Environmental Society (MES) – a group founded in 2001 that focused on protecting the marine and terrestrial environments of Fiji, especially those in the world-renowned Mamanuca Island group of islands. The new partnership between the MES and Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) led to a commitment to annual contribute $F20,000 year to help clean up local and island beaches and coral reefs, preserve the environment, and promote environmental awareness by supporting school and community programs, planting coral, and assisting sea turtles.
“Throughout the Mamanucas and western Viti Levu, this organization’s incredible efforts extend from our oceans and beaches into communities and island schools,” said Dave Pflieger, Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) Managing Director and CEO. Dave Pflieger noted that in addition to raising awareness on conservation, the MES also did superb work helping clean up the islands, ensure turtle conservation, remove damaging Crown-of-Thorns starfish, restore the coral, reef check surveys, and other waste management projects. Betani Salusalu of the MES applauded the airline’s commitment to the environment and conservation. “By lending this support, Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) has demonstrated their commitment to our home & Fiji’s environment. We will use this annual grant to fund our core activities which will help ensure locals and visitors can both enjoy the pristine natural environment that our islands are famous for.”