With a wide range of experience as an attorney, pilot, company executive, and former military officer, David Pflieger has established himself as a unique leader in the airline business. Mr. Pflieger began his career in aviation when he entered the United States Air Force as a pilot after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, with a Bachelor of Science degree. David Pflieger‘s career as an Air Force officer lasted until 1993, and during that time, he became one of the youngest officers ever selected to command a B-52 strategic bomber. He also led several different crews to win Best B-52 Crew awards and was awarded an Air Force Commendation Medal for his role in saving a B-52 aircraft and its crew.
After earning his MBA and a Juris Doctor with distinction from Emory University School of Law, David Pflieger worked as an attorney at King & Spalding, one of the top law firms in Atlanta, Georgia. Soon after, he was recruited to become Delta Air Lines’ operations attorney. From there, Mr. Pflieger was promoted to become Delta’s Director of Flight Safety before he was selected to become Vice President of Operations at Song, Delta’s wholly owned subsidiary and low-cost carrier.
From there, Mr. Pflieger was recruited to join Virgin America as a founding company officer, where he was charged with putting together and leading the plan to build and launch the new U.S. airline. In 2006, he was promoted from Vice President of the company’s Operations Control Center to General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal & Government Affairs. In this capacity, as part of the four-person senior executive team charged with oversight of all strategic decisions in the company, Mr. Pflieger helped grow the company from a small startup of just 14 people to a 1,300-person, $500-million-a-year, award-winning airline.
Following his success at Virgin America, David Pflieger was recruited by Qantas executives and the Fiji government to become the Managing Director and CEO responsible for leading and turning around Air Pacific and its regional subsidiary, Pacific Sun.