Experienced Aviation Business Leader
San Francisco, CA
Over the course of three decades in the aviation and airline industry, David Pflieger has been a B-52 instructor pilot, B757/767 Captain, led successful corporate restructurings and turnarounds, and served as a senior executive and legal counsel to over six different airlines. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mr. Pflieger began his career as a cross-commissioned officer and B-52 pilot in the US Air Force, earning multiple commendations for his leadership abilities. David Pflieger completed both a JD and an MBA from Emory University while serving in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve as a C-130 pilot, going on to accept a position at the Atlanta-based law firm of King & Spalding – one of the country’s top law firms.
Dave Pflieger drew on his unique combination of legal and aviation experience to serve as an operations attorney at Delta Air Lines, concurrently piloting the carrier’s B737 aircraft. Mr. Pflieger later accepted the role of director of flight safety at Delta and graduated from the renowned aviation safety and accident prevention program at the University of Southern California. Following his role in helping Delta achieve one of its safest years of operations, Dave Pflieger was instrumental in the successful launch of the award-winning airline, Song, Delta’s low cost carrier, where he served as vice president of operations. In 2004, David Pflieger was recruited to become a founding officer and senior executive at Virgin America, where he led the airline’s launch and successful government certification efforts. At Virgin, then a three-time “best airline” in the U.S. winner, he held the roles of vice president of operations, General Counsel, and senior vice president of legal and government affairs. Since that time, Mr. Pflieger has been selected to be the CEO of three different airlines where he has led successful restructuring, turnaround, and rebranding projects for Air Pacific (which he re-branded to Fiji Airways), Silver Airways, and Hawaii Island Air.
Dave Pflieger has also drawn on his extensive aviation and business leadership experience to serve on the boards of several organizations, including Fiji Airways, Tourism Fiji (the nation’s National Tourism Office), Richmond Ltd (owner of Fiji’s Sofitel Resort & Spa), Silver Airways, Hawaii Island Air, and the California Chamber of Commerce. A dedicated proponent of corporate social responsibility, children’s education, and environmental conservation, Mr. Pflieger was also instrumental in supporting Fiji’s Mamanuca Environmental Society which works to keep Fiji’s pristine reefs and sea life healthy and sustainable He also donates his free time as a coach for youth sports programs.