Airline appointments

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ASIA

Joyce chosen as next Qantas chief

After more than seven-and-a-half years at the helm of Australia's Qantas Airways, chief executive Geoff Dixon will soon be retiring and will be replaced by the head of its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, Alan Joyce.

Joyce, 42, will replace 68-year-old Dixon after the carrier's annual general meeting in late November. A Dublin-born Irish national who now also has Australian citizenship, Joyce has been with the Qantas Group since 2000, having previously worked for the former Ansett Australia and Aer Lingus.

Joyce became chief executive of low-cost subsidiary Jetstar in 2003 and is credited with having successfully launched it, and then having grown its operations and profits both domestically and internationally.

He had long been known to be on the shortlist to succeed Dixon, but many analysts still took his selection as a surprise as chief financial officer Peter Gregg was tipped as the most likely next boss. It remains unclear if Gregg will now leave, although Joyce has said he hopes to retain the carrier's top managers.

Joyce moved to Australia in 1996. A fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, he has a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in management science from the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

Dixon has been chief ­executive since early 2001, and since then Qantas has consistently been one of the world's most profitable carriers. He was originally due to have retired several years ago but his term was extended several time.

Just over a year ago Dixon's contract was extended again and Qantas said he would remain as chief executive until at least July next year. Dixon says he feels now is the right time to retire, however, although he will remain on a consulting basis until March 2009.


MIDDLE EAST

Gile becomes first flydubai signing

Dubai-based low-cost carrier start-up flydubai has recruited airline veteran Kenneth Gile to the post of chief operating officer.

"This is our first appointment and a very important one for us," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive of flydubai. "Now that we have made this key appointment, we can move forward with the work of getting our airline ready to begin commercial operations in mid 2009." FlyDubai was formed by the Dubai government in March.

Gile joins flydubai from Skybus, the US low-cost player that went bust in April, where he was president and chief operating officer for four years. Prior to joining Skybus, Gile was a long-time Southwest Airlines servant, initially as a pilot and then working in several positions over 25 years including chief pilot and director of flight operations.

At flydubai he will have day-to-day responsibility for running the airline. "Ken's experience will be invaluable in getting ­flydubai off the ground," said Ghaith Al Ghaith.


EUROPE

Aer Arann takes internal route

Irish regional carrier Aer Arann has named its chief financial officer Paul Schütz, 41, as the airline's chief executive designate He will take over as chief executive in January. Aer Arann's ­current chief executive, Garry Cullen, will become a non-executive board director.

Schütz joined Aer Arann in 2006 as chief financial officer and company secretary. His 18 years of airline experience started with Ryanair before he moved to British Airways as finance analyst. He went on to become director of finance and administration at Virgin Express and then moved to BWIA West Indies Airways initially as chief financial officer and later becoming joint general manager. He joined Eirjet as managing ­director in 2004 before joining Aer Arann.


IN BRIEF

Air Canada
has announced the appointment of Claude Morin as vice-president global sales. He arrives from leading Air Canada Cargo and succeeds Marc Rosenberg, vice-president sales and product distribution, who will be retiring from Air Canada in the autumn after a 37-year career with the airline. In the newly defined position, Morin will be responsible for all aspects of sales and product distribution for the airline on a global basis. Lise-Marie Turpin, currently senior director cargo services Americas/South Pacific, is appointed general manager Air Canada Cargo.


New Oman Air boss Peter Hill has brought in Barry Brown, a former senior staffer from SriLankan Airlines, as vice-president commercial. Hill ran SriLankan prior to taking the Oman Air job. Brown has also held senior management roles with Qantas, American and Air France.


Consultancy Seabury Europe has said that Dr Christopher Smith, the former managing director of SH&E, as the managing director of its Corporate Advisory Group.


Etihad Airways has appointed Captain Christoph Schippel as the airline's new vice-president flight operations. He will oversee preparations for flight operations to new Etihad destinations.


Pratt & Whitney executive James Keenan has rejoined United Airlines to head up its global maintenance operation United Services.