Fiji Airways flies in new GC

Fiji Airways has hired a local senior associate as its new general counsel, replacing the airline’s first-ever in-house lawyer Jay Shree following an “exhaustive search process”.

Senior associate Cecille Sanchez will join the airline from Suva-based law firm R Patel Lawyers at the end of the month. She has been with the firm for more than a decade, having previously been a senior science teacher at local Fijan schools.

CEO Stefan Pichler, who joined the airline last month, said: “This is a critical senior role within the airline, one which covers the length and breadth of our global operations.

“I’m especially pleased that we filled the position with an extremely capable Fijian. One of the four pillars of our five-year strategy is to ensure that Fiji Airways provides adequate job and career opportunities for Fijians. We are a Fijian airline, so it makes sense.”

Sanchez’s hire follows a rebrand from the airline, which changed from Air Pacific to its original 1958 name earlier this year. She is the company’s second ever in-house legal hire, after outgoing general counsel Shree, who is leaving the business to study in the US, became the group’s first in-house lawyer in 2010 and was promoted to general counsel in 2012.

Fiji Airways could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.