27 Apr 2015

Reports of new Fiji Airways CEO denied

2:27 pm on 27 April 2015

Fiji Airways has denied reports that the former head of Sri Lankan airlines has been appointed as the chief executive of Fiji's national carrier.

Peter Hill was the CEO of Sri Lankan Airlines from 1999 to 2007, when his visa was revoked because he refused to let the former Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and 35 associates have seats on a fully booked flight from London to return from a private tour.

He rejoined the airline in an advisory capacity in February.

The UK-based newspaper, the Daily Mirror, quotes the chairman of Sri Lankan airlines saying Mr Hill was leaving because he was offered a position at Fiji Airways.

However, Fiji Airways says this is not true, and no decision has been made on the appointment of a new managing director and CEO.

A spokesperson, Shane Hussein, told the Fiji Times that the board was seeing three short-listed candidates this weekend, and wouldn't confirm whether Mr Hill was among them.

The airline announced late last year that its former CEO, Stefan Pichler, was leaving to join Air Berlin, after just one year with the carrier.

Mr Pichler has been credited with the airline's "massive" operating profit of $8.6 million US dollars in the first half of last year, after it enjoyed an audited $7.1 million US dollar gain in 2013.

A Fiji Airways plane

A Fiji Airways plane Photo: Supplied