PichlerFiji Airways Chief Executive Officer, Stefan Pichler will leave the airline in February next year.

The Economic Times reports that German airline, Air Berlin has named Pichler as their new chief executive to take over a restructuring programme as it tries to return to profit.

Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline and 29% owned by Abu-Dhabi based Etihad, said yesterday that their Chief Executive was standing down at his own request and will be replaced by Stefan Pichler on February 1st, 2015.

When Stefan Pichler arrived two years ago he was not met by any of Fiji Airways Executive Management, he carried all his own bags, and immediately got on with the job of putting the airline on the right track. This included disposing of the team of overpriced consultants that his fast talking predecessor could not operate without.

Stefan Pichler will be a great loss to Fiji Airways, and the Pensioners (who still have a large investment in Fiji Airways) believe that Stefan Pichler should make the final decision on who his replacement should be and the relevant Minister should have no input.