“As Fiji’s largest national airline, we are committing ourselves to improving the lives and well-being of not only our staff, but all Fijians living in this country. On behalf of the more than 800 people who work at our airline, we are very pleased to be creating a partnership with Zens Medical Centre to address this important issue. The Fiji Airways Wellness Clinic will help to create a healthier Fiji by making available free wellness and health checks for patients referred by their General Practitioners,” said Dave Pflieger, Fiji Airways Managing Director & CEO.
Dave Pflieger and his team at Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) helped create and launch the first-ever wellness clinic in Fiji. Giving back to the community is a priority for the company. The goal in creating a wellness clinic was to make a national difference by preventing Fijians from the onset of diseases that were causing needless deaths – specifically hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes, the leading causes of early deaths in Fiji — all which can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise.
Because Dr. Zen had educated Dave Pflieger and his team about the causes of these deadly diseases, Dave Pflieger and his colleagues partnered with Dr. Zen to educate airline employees and local community citizens that they should exercise and avoid low cost, mass produced foods that are loaded with sodium and fat. To further enhance these educational efforts, Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) decided to go a step further by donating over $100,000 to Dr. Zen’s clinic to pay for free preventative screenings to members of the public and airline employees with a longer term goal of offering employees who passed these “wellness” check-ups reduced healthcare premiums.
Dave Pflieger’s commitment to the community goes beyond wellness. He is a huge proponent of leading by example. In April of 2012, after several days of severe flooding in Western Fiji and the town of Nadi where many Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) employees lived. Dave Pflieger and some key executives at Air Pacific (later Fiji Airways) took new crisis management teams out in company vehicles to their employee’s unlit and unpowered, flooded homes and apartments, to affected families flashlights, water, and food. Dave Pflieger later recalled that people were stunned and in tears when he showed up in his company 4-wheel drive vehicle to bring them cases of “Fiji Water”, flashlights, and food. Some employees and families were moved to tears because they simply couldn’t believe their CEO was showing up in the middle of the stormy night to assist them.