Ex Ansett AirNZ CEO jets to Jet

India’s second-largest airline, Jet Airways has appointed Gary Mr Toomey as their new CEO. Commenting on the appointment, Chairman Naresh Goyal said: “We need a dynamic executive with deep knowledge of and experience in the airline industry to lead the next phase of our development. Toomey has extensive experience in domestic and international airline management, and the right credentials and skills to take Jet Airways forward.”

The Toomey name won’t mean much to people outside Australia or New Zealand but in those countries he is remembered as the former chief executive of Air New Zealand-Ansett. He resigned in October 2001, a month after collapse of Ansett (Australia’s second largest airline) in 2001. Air New Zealand had to be bailed out by the New Zealand government because of the drain caused by Ansett. Toomey’s departure was definitely “under a cloud” even though the collapse of Ansett was caused by a complex array of factors.

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After that, he kept a low profile, providing consulting services through the Asia Pacific region. He was Chief Executive of Airlines PNG (Papua New Guinea) from June, 2009 to November, 2012. The second largest carrier in that country, flies to 28 domestic destinations using a fleet of 21, predominantly Dash 8s.

Jet Airways’ 100 aircraft flying to 73 destinations (52 domestic and 21 International) will be a step back up for Toomey.  They lost $US89 million last year. Jet are a three star airline according to Skytrax.

This announcement comes just months after Middle East airline Etihad bought a 24 per cent stake in the loss making Jet Airways for $US379 million.  Etihad has also purchased shares in Virgin Australia, Air Berlin (29%), Air Seychelles (40%) and Aer Lingus (2.97%).

Toomey said, “I am delighted to have been selected to lead and continue the development and growth of Jet Airways.”

He replaces Nikos Kardassis as chief executive of Jet Airways. Under kardassus, Jet Airways retained its number one market share position at approximately around 27-28 percent of the Indian domestic market share. Kardassis cut loss making routes and increased capacity on profitable ones. He combined its two low cost carriers Jetkonnect and Jetlite. Reasons for Kardassis’ resignation have not been disclosed.

For Toomey, making this work will be really important – for him and the airline.  Lets see how he takes “Jet Airways forward.”


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