Acton goes to SAA

Former Aer Lingus, LanChile and Unisys executive Kyrl Acton has been recruited by South African Airways (SAA) as its new chief operating officer. His appointment will bring stability to the carrier's management team following a series of departures since the resignation of former chief executive Andre Viljoen in August.

"Our mandate to Spencer Stuart, an international executive search firm, was clear: find us an experienced airline operations executive with specific experience of having led significant airline operational and financial turnarounds," SAA chief executive Khaya Ngqula said. The carrier's new head, who joined in October, has been steadily rebuilding SAA's executive team. The appointment of a chief operating officer means his team is now almost complete.

The carrier is undergoing a major restructuring after two years of heavy, currency related losses. It is making progress in its turnaround, according to the South African government.

Acton, an Irish national, began his aviation career with Aer Lingus in 1980, rising to head its passenger service division before moving to LanChile in 1995 as senior vice-president of planning and development. At LanChile he was part of the team that negotiated its entry into the oneworld Alliance and had a major role in its stockmarket flotation in 1997.

In 2002 he moved to Unisys as vice-president of transportation Europe, Middle East and Africa.


Source: Airline Business