Aviation industry veteran Gary Kenneth Toomey was on Thursday appointed by Jet Airways as its new Chief Executive Officer, nearly two months after the airline's deal with Gulf carrier Etihad.
The appointment followed the resignation of Nikos Kardassis on June 7 after he served two terms as CEO between 1993-1999 and again from October 2009 till May 2013.
Toomey, 58, an Australian national, has previously served as President and CEO of the Air New Zealand Group and CEO of Airlines PNG in Papua New Guinea during periods of their major expansion.
Before this, he had served in various positions in Australian carrier Qantas, including as a Director, Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer.
Soon after Kardassis resigned, Capt Hameed Ali was appointed as Acting CEO to run the show till a full-time chief executive was appointed.
A Jet spokesperson said Ali would continue as Acting CEO till Toomey's appointment received regulatory approval.
In a statement, Jet chief Naresh Goyal said Kardassis had ‘made a significant contribution to Jet Airways, particularly in the development of our international network, laying the foundation for our future expansion.’
He said Toomey has ‘extensive experience in domestic and international airline management, and the right credentials and skills to take Jet Airways forward.’
Toomey, on his part, said the fast-growing Indian aviation market ‘offered significant potential for Jet Airways not only within India, but beyond, through new or improved international connections.
‘I am delighted to have been selected to lead the Company and continue the development and growth of Jet Airways.’
Ever since Jet clinched a stake sale deal with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad in April, whereby it agreed to sell 24 per cent stake for Rs 2,042 crore (Rs 20.42 billion), the industry was abuzz with speculation that changes in the private carrier's leadership were in the offing.