Steve Sharf, the former chief operating officer of IndiGo, has left the Indian low-cost carrier to join US carrier USA3000 as its president and chief operating officer. Sharf is the second overseas senior officer to leave IndiGo, following the recent departure of Bruce Ashby.

Sri Lanka's government has appointed an acting chairman for national carrier SriLankan Airlines after incumbent PB Jayasundera was forced to step down. Acting chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe was already a director of the airline, having joined the board in January 2006.

Lufthansa Group's supervisory board has extended Stephan Gemkow's appointment as the group's chief financial officer and executive board member for five years until May 2014. Gemkow has been with Lufthansa since 1990. He became chief financial officer and a board member in June 2006.

BMI interim commercial director Martyn Bridger will join permanently as commercial and service director reporting to bmi mainline managing director Peter Spencer. Interim marketing director Katherine Gershon will also join bmi permanently taking on the expanded role of sales and marketing director.

Travelport GDS has recruited US Airways executive Travis Christ as its president and managing director for the Americas. He had been with US Airways since 1995 latterly as vice-president marketing, sales & distribution.


Gourgeon moves up at Air France

In a move that had been flagged for some time, Air France-KLM has confirmed that Jean-Cyril Spinetta is to be succeeded as airline chief executive from the start of next year by his deputy Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, but will remain as group chairman.

The SkyTeam carrier says the board of directors noted Spinetta's request to separate the two posts. "After 11 years as chief executive of Air France, and then Air France-KLM, I felt it necessary to propose an internal solution that would guarantee continuity of governance, in view of the difficult economic climate facing us," says Spinetta. "This way we will protect the group's interests, while abiding by the principles which have underpinned its constitution and will remain relevant going forward."

Following Spinetta's move to step down, Air France chief operating officer and Air France-KLM deputy chief executive Gourgeon has been appointed CEO by both boards as from January 2009. Spinetta will remain chairman of the boards of Air France-KLM and Air France.


Joyce builds his team at Qantas

Alan Joyce is putting together his own team to run the Qantas group after he takes over as chief executive in late November.

Bruce Buchanan, who was Joyce's right hand man at Jetstar, moved up in October from manager of Jetstar's commercial operations to replace Joyce as chief executive. Buchanan managed Jetstar's long-haul development and has been involved in franchising the Jetstar brand with Vietnam's Pacific Airlines.

Lyell Strambi will become the new executive general manager of operations for the Qantas group in December. Strambi and Joyce worked together at Ansett, but Strambi has been chief operating officer at Virgin Atlantic for six years. He will take charge of pilots, airports, catering, flight training and the airline's engineering operations.

Strambi's post at Qantas is new. Formerly these duties were part of the job of executive general manager John Borghetti, who was also a contender with Joyce for the chief executive role.

"Everybody has a different way of running airlines," says Joyce. "And I've always had a head of commercial and a head of operations so I was keen on the operations role."

Joyce said splitting the executive general manager position into two posts did not diminish Borghetti's presence within Qantas, but would allow him to focus more on commercial activities.

Except for Borghetti, the inner circle of senior managers at ­Qantas, including Colin Storrie as chief financial officer, now ­consists of new people.

Jet airways creates new CEO post

India's Jet Airways has created a new top executive job of group chief executive and has appointed an industry outsider to the position.

Ravi Chaturvedi took on the role at the beginning of October. The carrier says its new recruit has over 25 years of "multi-dimensional experience in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, USA, China and Japan, with Procter & Gamble". It adds that he retired as president of Procter & Gamble's North East Asia Region.

His duties at the carrier were not outlined and no mention was made in the announcement of how the new position affects Jet chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer. Jet says only that Prock-Schauer, who has been with the airline for five years, will remain as chief executive and will work together with Chaturvedi.

Zhao arrives to lead Air Macau

Air Macau's chief executive of five years, David Fei, has left the carrier and has been replaced by an executive from majority owner Air China.

The new chief executive is Zhao Xiaohang. He was most recently senior vice-president with Air China-owned China National Aviation and has held other senior positions in the Air China Group, including head of corporate planning.

Fei's next career move is not clear. A former senior executive with Taiwan's China Airlines, he took over as chief executive of Air Macau late in 2003.

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Source: Airline Business