JetBlue Airways is making changes to its top team with the promotion of senior vice-president airports Rob Maruster to the post of chief operating officer. He replaces president and COO Russ Chew who will step back from the low-cost carrier, taking the role as senior advisor. Chief executive Dave Barger assumes the duties and title of president. The carrier has also appointed Dennis Corrigan to the position of vice-president revenue management. He joins from United Airlines.

Latvia's Air Baltic has named Tero Taskila as its chief commercial officer. Taskila joins Air Baltic from Gulf Air where he was the chief strategy officer. Willy Boutler, who was with Russian carrier SkyExpress and has had roles at Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, is joining Gulf Air as chief commercial officer.

Low-cost start-up FlyDubai has appointed Neil Mills as its chief financial officer. Mills joins from easyJet where he was procurement director.

Emirates has named Boutros Boutros as its new divisional senior VP corporate communications taking over from Mike Simon.


Saveliev arrives at Aeroflot

The transfer of power at the top of Russia's SkyTeam Alliance member Aeroflot has taken place with Vitaly Saveliev taking over from Valery Okulov, who served as the airline's chief executive for 12 years.

Saveliev, 55, was a board member of large Russian consumer services corporation Sistema, and served as deputy minister of economic development and trade from 2004 to 2007. Initially he will concentrate on short-term business priorities and cost-efficiency measures at the airline, says Aeroflot.

Okulov has taken up the position of the deputy minister of transport of The Russian Federation, where he will be in charge of civil aviation.

Mark Pilling London


Borghetti bows out at Qantas

The last of Geoff Dixon's lieutenants has left Australia's Qantas Airways. Executive general manager John Borghetti, the only remaining member of the inner circle that guided Qantas for many years, retired in early May.

Following Borghetti's departure, Qantas appointed two people to fill his shoes. Rob Gurney, sales and marketing chief, has become group executive of Qantas Airlines commercial while Lesley Grant moves up from her post as group general manager customer, product and service to become executive manager of customer and marketing. Both join the executive committee that reports directly to chief executive Alan Joyce.

Borghetti was a contender for the top post [along with former chief financial officer Peter Gregg] that Joyce landed last August, and he was the only one who stayed with the airline until now. Gregg left in December. With Borghetti's departure, the last of the old management team is gone, giving Joyce a free hand to place his own mark on the airline. However, some analysts have voiced concern over how much Qantas experience has left, and with it the loss of institutional continuity. Borghetti served Qantas for 36 years.

David Knibb Seattle


Air Canada's tough new leader

Calin Rovinescu has replaced Montie Brewer as Air Canada's president and chief executive as the airline tries to respond more aggressively to its deteriorating condition.

Unlike Brewer, Rovinescu "is not a traditional airline guy", says one analyst, but is better suited to address Air Canada's current problems. Facing a series of challenges, the airline's directors asked Rovinescu, a Montreal lawyer and investment banker, to take charge.

Rovinescu is no stranger to Air Canada. He advised the airline in its defence against a hostile takeover in 1999 and joined Air Canada a year later as executive vice-president. When Air Canada sought bankruptcy protection, he became chief restructuring officer.

With Robert Milton, former chief executive and now head of Air Canada's holding company, ACE Aviation, Rovinescu played a key part in Air Canada's emergence from bankruptcy. Since then he launched his own investment bank, and played high-profile roles in other troubled corporations.

David Knibb Seattle

Source: Airline Business