Hollis Harris, Air Canada's chairman and chief executive, will step down at the airline's next annual meeting on 14 May. His replacement is Lamar Durrett, a former Delta Airlines executive who came to Air Canada with Harris in 1992. Harris stays as executive chairman.

Durrett worked at Delta for 23 years before moving with Harris to Continental Airlines in 1990. Subsequently, both men were forced out in a management dispute. Durrett was president of Continental's System One computer-reservations subsidiary and joined Air Canada as executive vice-president of technical operations and corporate services.

Durrett's appointment is a blow to Jean-Jacques Bourgeault, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, who had been expected to replace Harris.

Harris has said that he would leave Air Canada when his five-year contract expires next February and either start a new airline using surplus Air Canada McDonnell Douglas DC-9s or join a US carrier.

The news came as Air Canada released a disappointing set of results for 1995. Net profits more than halved, to C$52 million ($38 million), against a forecast of C$100 million. The 1994 profit, however, had been bolstered by asset sales.

Harris says that Air Canada showed a record operating profit for 1995, despite its heavy expansion, including a shift to international routes.

Source: Flight International