Going Places – industry appointment highlights for Feb-2021

16 March, 2021

The travel, tourism and aviation industries in the across the globe witness policy and upper level changes on a daily basis. It is important to not only keep tabs of these organisations direction, but to also monitor changes in executive branches to see the wider picture of the travel market. CTC – Corporate Travel Community aims to keep you informed of these movements each month, with a full wrap of the key changes across regional markets, while also featuring key appointments announced for the month.

Here are the key executive changes for Feb-2021:


  • Amerijet International appointed Eric J Wilson as chief commercial officer, effective 08-Feb-2021.
  • Southwest Airlines announced (08-Feb-2021) the following changes to its executive team:
    • EVP of daily operations Greg Wells is retiring and will move to an advisor role, effective 01-Mar-2021;
    • SVP of air operations Alan Kasher is promoted to executive VP of daily operations and will be transitioning into the role during Feb-2021;
    • Sam Ford was promoted to VP operational strategy and performance, effective 01-Feb-2021;
    • Chris Johnson was promoted to VP ground operations, effective 01-Feb-2021;
    • Julia Landrum was promoted to MD financial planning and analysis, effective 01-Feb-2021;
    • VP of customer relations/rapid rewards Jim Ruppel is retiring and will move to an advisor role, effective 01-Mar-2021.
  • JetBlue Airways announced (11-Feb-2021) the following leadership appointments, which began rolling out in 2020:
    • Jayne O'Brien as head of marketing and loyalty;
    • Whitnee Hawthorne promoted to VP customer support;
    • Thomas Howell promoted to VP safety and regulatory compliance;
    • Dana Shapir Alviene promoted to VP airports experience.
  • WestJet appointed John Weatherill as executive VP and CCO, effective 05-Mar-2021.
  • WestJet announced plans to appoint Tammy McKnight as the carrier's first chief medical officer, effective 05-Apr-2021.
  • Air Canada announced Mike Rousseau officially succeeded Calin Rovinescu as president and CEO of the carrier. Mr Rovinescu is retiring.
  • Avianca announced chief customer officer Maria Paula Duque will be leaving the company on 28-Oct-2021.

Asia Pacific

  • IndiGo appointed Jiten Chopra as CFO, effective 22-Feb-2021.
  • Donghai Airlines announced the appointment of Guo Zhiqiang as executive director and president on 07-Feb-2021. The carrier also appointed Liang Jie and Zhang Ning as vice presidents.
  • Bangladesh's Government appointed Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal as Biman Bangladesh Airlines CEO and MD, effective immediately

Europe, Middle East & Africa

  • SWISS appointed Benedikt Escher as head of network management, effective 01-Feb-2021. He succeeds Michael Trestl, who was named Austrian Airlines CFO in early 2021.
  • Air Côte d'Ivoire appointed Laurent Loukou as GM, succeeding René Decurey effective 25-Feb-2021.
  • Volotea appointed Gabriel Schmilovich Isgut as chief strategy officer.
  • Belavia appointed Igor Nikolaevich Cherginets as general director.
  • Air Namibia chairperson Escher Luanda and board member Heritha Nankole Muyoba resigned on 03-Feb-2021, after fellow board member Willy Mertens resigned on 01-Feb-2021.
  • International Airlines Group (IAG) appointed Lynne Embleton as Aer Lingus CEO, effective 06-Apr-2021. She replaces Donal Moriarty who has been interim chief executive since Oct-2020 and who will resume his role as the airline's chief corporate affairs officer.
  • Oman Air appointed Nasser Al Salmi as COO, effective immediately.
  • Tunisair's Board of Directors appointed Belgacem Tayaa as acting commissioner of the airline following the dismissal of Olfa Hamdi.
  • Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) stated it will cut its management board from four to three members, with chief operating officer (COO) Thomas Frick to step down from his function as planned at the end of Mar-2021.