Toomey Quits & Jet Airways expands


jetairways-logoAnyone know why Jet Airways chief executive officer Gary Toomey announced his immediate departure from the airline last week after four months?

Jet Airways announced on January 16; “Gary Kenneth Toomey, chief executive of the company has resigned with immediate effect…Ravishankar Gopalakrishnan, the chief financial officer of the airline, will officiate as the “acting chief executive officer” till the board appoints a new chief“. Mr Toomey said: “I have enjoyed my time at Jet Airways working with the Chairman, the management team and the wonderful staff. I am confident that the Company will be successful in the future.”

This is the second Chief Executive that Jet have lost in seven months.

Mr Toomey was appointed only last June on a three-year contract. Business Today India suggests that it may be for family reasons (his family still live in Australia) or because Toomey “must have fallen out of favour with the promoters”. Anyone have more definitive information? Maybe both reasons are correct?

My interest in Mr Toomey comes from his previous role as CEO the Air New Zealand Group when he presided over the collapse of Australia’s second oldest national airline: Ansett in 2001. He followed this with consulting and then went to Airlines PNG (Papua New Guinea.)


Jet Airways (IATA Code 9W) is India’s second-largest airline with a 25 percent domestic market share, according to the country’s civil aviation regulator. They have been flying domestically in India since 1993 and internationally since 2004. In 2007 Jet Airways bought out rival Air Sahara,  renamed it JetLite, and marketed it as a lower cost carrier before deciding to integrate the subsidiary into Jet Airways. They then started a new low cost subsidiary called JetKonnect in 2012, folding Jetlite into it.

As a result of a September 2012 law,  the India government allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49% in Indian airlines. In November, Jet Airways  completed the sale of a 24-percent stake to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad for $US379 million. This deal was formally approved by India’s foreign investment regulator in July, 2013. This is the first such foreign airline deal. Th deal has been under scrutiny by Indian regulators this week following complaints made by government owned Air India. Etihad has also purchased shares in Virgin Australia, Air Berlin (29%), Air Seychelles (40%) and Aer Lingus (2.97%).

This week Jet launched a new daily service from Chennai to Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s hub. The airline already operates daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Delhi, Kochi, and Mumbai in India.  Jet Airways’ will start flying to Paris CDG from Mumbai on May 14th using Arbus A330s

Bloomberg TV India reported this week, that Jet airways are considering ordering 50 Boeing 737s worth $2.5 billion.

From March 1st Etihad will  lease two Boeing 777s from Jet Airways to operate daily flights from Abu Dhabi to New York JFK. Jet Airways will become the designated operator from May 1st.

In October, 2013 Jet reported its largest ever quarterly loss of 8.91 billion rupees ($US145 million), up from a loss of 997 million rupees a year earlier ($US15 million). The airline launched 50% discount advanced purchase airfares yesterday. It is hard to know if either event have had a any links to Toomey’s sudden vanishing.

I have flown Jet Airways twice and found the experience to be slightly above average. Skytrax rates them a three star airline. They fly to 70 destinations (20 international and 50 domestic) with a fleet of 100.


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  1. Yes, Narendra Goyal and James Hogan know why this man quit. As for the other events, they are market circumstances and not linked to this departure. 9W won’t have to do a sale because their CEO left.

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