The author is the Executive Director of Mentor Aviation Services consulting to the Aviation industry throughout the Asia/Pacific region and acts as mentor to young executives in the Aviation and Tourism industries.
He grew up in Fiji and experienced at first-hand the dichotomy of living as a local European in a society dominated by British Colonial Government expatriates. After an education in Fijian schools he became the country's first aircraft engineering apprentice, and one of the first locals to be granted engineering licences. He spent 15 years as an engineer with Fiji Airways traveling throughout the Pacific islands during a period of pioneering aviation.
Mr. Drysdale then became Chief Executive of Fiji's Blue Lagoon Cruises, built three ships for them in Fiji to international standards, and grew that company to be a profitable icon of Fiji's tourism.
He was appointed CEO of Air Pacific (now again Fiji Airways) at the time of the 1987 military coups. The company had the largest accumulated loss in Fiji's history; it's mainstay of tourism was hanging by a thread. Within three years, despite the social, economic and political instability, he had retired the debt and positioned the airline as the carrier of more than 50% of Fiji's visitors. The airline was profitable for each of the 10 years he was CEO and for many years after. During this time he moved the entire company from Suva to the tourism hub of Nadi, introduced a fleet of new jet aircraft, increased flights to Australia and New Zealand, and commenced services to the USA and Japan. With the support of his Board and his team of executives he built the international airline it has become.
He was then appointed CEO of Australian Hazelton Airlines (now Rex). After several profitable years he was instrumental in selling Hazelton to Ansett Airlines. When that company collapsed, he broke Hazelton away, recommenced services and positioned the company such that the administrators were able to achieve a successful sale to new investors.
Mr. Drysdale was then appointed Vice President Asia/Pacific for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) covering 34 Countries and 64 airlines of the region. He was Chairman of IATA India Ltd. During the Air Pacific days he served on the Board of IATA and as Chairman of IATA's Committee on Human Resources.
He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) for many years and was appointed PATA Chairman in 1997. He is a life member of the Association. He served as a Board member of the Association of South Pacific Airlines (ASPA) for 10 years and as Chairman for 6 of those years. He is a past President of the Royal Aeronautical Society in Australia, served on the Council, and is a Fellow of the Society.
Andrew is available to speak at public and private events. Contact Mentor Aviation Services.
Sketches of Fiji
mentor aviation Services PO box 1125 Lane Cove NSW 1595 email@example.com
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