United Airlines has shaken up the roles of top executives Pete McDonald and John Tague. McDonald hands over the chief operating officer reins to former chief revenue officer Tague to become chief administrative officer. The United veteran's position brings together several responsibilities including corporate policy and strategy and labour relations.

Continental's senior vice-president Asia-Pacific Mark Erwin has been re-elected to the board of Panama's Copa Airlines. Continental has long held a stake in Copa, although this is being gradually reduced.

SAS Group Baltic affiliate carrier Estonian Air has named Andrus Aljas to lead the company as its new chief executive. He has been serving as interim head since former chief Borge Thornbech chose to step down last August.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has undergone its third top leadership change in just over a year with the appointment of Aijaz Haroon as its new managing director. He takes over from Aslam Khan who was only appointed to the post in February. Pakistan's defence minister, Ahmed Mukhtar, has meanwhile taken over as chairman from Kamran Rasool, who was only appointed in February. Haroon is a pilot who has been with the airline for 30 years. He joined as a cadet pilot, has held top jobs at PIA and has most recently been flying PIA's Boeing 777s.

Finn Focuses on Ancillaries

Ryanair has promoted Sinead Finn to the newly created role of director of commercial revenue.

In this role she will be responsible for the management and development of all ancillary revenue streams at Ryanair, working with the carrier's established partners in the areas of car hire, hotels and travel insurance as well as developing new streams to further enhance Ryanair's ­performance in this area, says the Irish low-cost carrier.

"Sinead will help the airline maintain its industry leading performance in this crucial area of the company's profitability," said Ryanair deputy chief ­executive Michael Cawley.

Since 2002 Finn has been Ryanair's head of sales & marketing. She joined the airline as its sales manager for Italy in 1998 after beginning her career with the Irish Tourist Board based in ­Norway.

Sri Lankan Names New Chief Executive

Sri Lanka's government has named a long-serving SriLankan Airlines executive as new chief executive of the national carrier.

Manoj Gunawardena has been appointed to head SriLankan, which had been without a chief since a management contract with Emirates ended at the end of March. Until then it was headed by Peter Hill, who was on ­secondment from Emirates.

Gunawardena has been with Sri Lanka's national carrier for more than 25 years. He had most recently been head of worldwide sales, responsible for all of the carrier's global sales activities. Before being appointed to that position in May 2006, he was ­regional manager UK, Europe and the Americas.

Sri Lanka's government took back management control of SriLankan Airlines at the end of March after the 10-year contract under which Emirates was managing it came to an end. Emirates owns more than 40% of SriLankan but it failed to reach agreement with the government on an extension of the management contract and has said it is looking for a buyer for its stake.

Manoj Gunawardena's brother, Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, was until recently the head of Sri Lanka's second state-owned ­carrier, Mihin Lanka. He reportedly resigned in April to pave the way for Manoj Gunawardena's appointment at SriLankan. Mihin Lanka, a small low-cost carrier, recently ceased flying but has said it hopes to resume ­operations.

Hill Helps Out

Former SriLankan Airlines chief executive Peter Hill is assisting with the establishment of the Dubai government's planned new low-cost carrier.

Hill will be helping the recently appointed chief executive of the planned new carrier, Ghaith Al Ghaith, in working towards a launch that is targeted for next year. The Dubai government recently announced plans for the establishment of the low-cost carrier which will be assisted in the early stages by Emirates.

Tiger Hires New Finance Chief

Singapore-based low-cost carrier Tiger Airways has appointed a senior Singapore Airlines Group executive as its new chief financial officer. Chin Sak Hin has most recently been chief financial officer with SIA subsidiary SIA Engineering. He will join Tiger, which is 49%-owned by SIA, in June.

Chin replaces Peter Negline, who recently left the fast-expanding low-cost carrier, which is headquartered in Singapore and has a domestic subsidiary in Australia.

Chin has been with the SIA Group for 25 years, both in Singapore and abroad. He began his career as an auditor with Ernst & Young.

Presbury to Lead VietJet

Planned new Vietnamese carrier VietJet has appointed a former Ghana International Airlines and Kenya Airways head as its chief executive. Brian Presbury has been appointed to lead the planned new Hanoi-based airline, which hopes to launch services at the end of this year using Boeing 737-700s on lease.

Presbury has his own aviation consultancy, Sierra Consultancy Services. In 2005 and 2006 he was chief executive of Ghana ­International Airlines and before led Kenya Airways.

Cohen Bows Out

After playing a vital role during Northwest's bankruptcy reorganisation the airline's chief financial officer Neal Cohen is leaving to resume his business interests outside the airline industry which he says he put on hold to work at Northwest. Cohen has been with the carrier since May 2005 and also served there from 1991 to 2000.

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Source: Airline Business