During the last 12 months, pretty torrid ones for the industry at that, Airline Business has interviewed chief executives from across continents, with varying airline models and with a range of challenges and differing financial fortunes.
So as a tumultuous 2009 for the airline industry draws to a close, here's a quick look back at the airline leaders we have featured on the Airline Business cover during the last 12 months and a glimpse into their stories.
Co-inciding with the launch of V Australia's trans-pacific services, the May cover was a real first: all three Virgin airline chief executives and all three of their aircraft lined up in the background. While all three carriers faced their own challenges and markets, it was fascinating to see the interaction between Cush, Godfrey and Ridgway - three chief executives united by the Virgin brand. For the full interview click here.
Our first Asian airline cover interview of the year took us to Seoul, where Cho was refusing to be sidetracked from Korean's long-term aspirations by the short-term difficulties facing the sector. Throughout the interview he emphasised the SkyTeam carrier's long-term perspective. One of the only carrier's to order A380s during 2009, for good measure it ended the year with an order Boeing 747-8 Intercontinentals. For the full interview click here.
We caught up with Villegas in October at Avianca's Bogota headquarters top find out about how he is spearheading an ambitious diversification strategy aimed at establishing the airline as a major player in other South American markets. Avianca was later to a high-profile strategic merger with Central American carrier Grupo TACA, though each carrier would continue to operate independently. For the full interview click here.
For the November issue we interviewed Continental's outgoing chief executive Kellner and his successor Smisek about the leadership transition, ahead of another key transition for the US carrier, its move from SkyTeam into the Star Alliance. For the full interview click here.
Source: Airline Business