Klaus Koester Greenpoint Technologies CEO

Greenpoint Technologies appoints new CEO

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Klaus Koester Greenpoint Technologies CEO

Klaus Koester has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Greenpoint Technologies and the Custom Cabin Division of Safran Passenger Solutions. Koester succeeds former Greenpoint CEO Scott Goodey, who retired after nearly twenty years with Greenpoint and more than thirty years in the aviation industry.

Koester will be based at Greenpoint Headquarters in Bothell, Washington, while overseeing all Safran Custom Cabin companies in Washington and Texas.

David Helfgott

SmartSky appoints David Helfgott CEO

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David Helfgott

SmartSky Networks has named David Helfgott CEO, coinciding with the company’s transition from the development and deployment stage to an operational aviation broadband communications services and products company.

Commenting upon the appointment outgoing CEO Haynes Griffin, who will remain as Executive Chairman, said: “His extensive technology and mobile communications experience will help us ensure that all of our operations reflect the high level of quality set by our transformational connectivity technology.”

“I am honoured to be selected to lead SmartSky at this exciting inflection point,” said Helfgott. “When you look at SmartSky’s unique positioning and expansive patent portfolio, it highlights the company’s incredible potential and culture of sustained innovation. Since COVID-19 first began to impact the in-flight communications industry, SmartSky has proven its resilience in many ways, having added more than 40 patents since January 2020, successfully defended its IP from a challenge brought by an industry incumbent, closed on funding of more than US$50 million in additional equity and debt, and overhauled its radio technology supply chain on the way to completing the deployment and launch of its network next year.”

Joe Bentley, Panasonic Avionics CEO

New CTO for Panasonic Avionics

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Joe Bentley, Panasonic Avionics CEO

Panasonic Avionics has appointed Joe Bentley as Chief Technology Officer.

Bentley, who has joined Panasonic from Hulu where he was Senior Vice President, Engineering, will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s software and systems engineering teams, cloud, hardware, and IT/security.

“I am delighted to welcome Joe Bentley to Panasonic Avionics.” said Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “His proven track record in successfully delivering digital innovation makes him a natural fit as we continue to build remarkable IFEC solutions that enhance the airline passenger experience.”

“Bringing together a world-class team with a rich legacy of engineering prowess is humbling,” said Bentley. “I am excited to deliver scalable, in-flight entertainment platforms that will enable airlines to increase efficiency and promote passenger loyalty.”

Karyn McAlphin appointed Design Director for SEKISUI KYDEX

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Karyn McAlphin has become as Design Director for SEKISUI KYDEX, where she will be responsible for creative elements, as well as focus on the Production of KYDEX Thermoplastics and customer-facing experiences at SEKISUI KYDEX.

McAlphin joined SEKISUI KYDEX as Design Strategist in 2017 and commented: “During my first year, my time was evenly divided between mass transit, medical devices and aviation. It was exciting to learn about new industries. The following year, I focused primarily on aviation, my area of expertise, and this year, I’m seeing a fascinating trend develop where aviation and mass transit are looking to the medical industry for new ideas. Cross-pollination across our core markets and future markets will be extremely important going forward.”

“Karyn brings a unique design perspective as SEKISUI KYDEX enters into new projects and opportunities. She has embraced SEKISUI KYDEX’s culture over the last three years, and she has taken the time to learn and understand the emphasis that we put on the customer experience. Karyn will continue to play a pivotal role in helping our customers understand and utilise our high value, bespoke products like Infused Imaging technology,” said Nik Taritas, VP of Sales.

“I’m thrilled for Karyn and this opportunity where she will be able to widen her scope while working with cross functional teams to bring programs for all market spaces to completion. Karyn’s design savvy will effectively leverage our customer’s insights for their programs and help to create the best overall customer experience,” said Bernadette Chupela, Customer Experience Manager.

Gary Smith Trenchard Aviation

New COO for Trenchard Aviation Group

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Gary Smith Trenchard Aviation

Gary Smith has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of Trenchard Aviation Group, with responsibilities for all operations across manufacturing, parts and repairs, and on-wing services.

Smith joins Trenchard Aviation from easyJet where he was Director of Operations Transformation, responsible for formation and delivery of the airline’s operations strategy, and for delivering their very successful ‘Operational Resilience’ programme, focused on reducing disruption and improving operational performance.

Mark Faulkner, CEO of Trenchard Aviation Group, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Gary to the Trenchard Aviation team. His enviable experience and expertise will be a brilliant asset as we move forward out of the coronavirus pandemic and longer term with our strategic international growth plans.”

Portfolio refocus drives new leadership appointment at SITA

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To support its post COVID-19 recovery, SITA has announced changes to its executive management team responsible for its product portfolios.

David Lavorel (pictured left), previously CEO of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, is now heading SITA AT AIRPORTS AND BORDERS, SITA’s airport and border solution portfolio, replacing Matthys Serfontein, who has retired.

A key focus in 2020 will be to support SITA’s airline and airport customers to implement smart solutions to accommodate new passenger processes required to ensure the health and safety of travellers and employees.

Sébastien Fabre (pictured right), previously VP Airline & Airports Portfolio, replaces Lavorel as head of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT.

The new appointments came into effect from 1 June, 2020.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Ensuring strong leadership of our key business areas is especially important as we look to support the industry as it begins to return to the skies. After more than a decade proving themselves highly capable of driving innovation while ensuring continued customer satisfaction, Sébastien and David are perfectly placed to steer the business through the new challenges and deliver solutions that help support the industry’s recovery.”

Jacob Schram

Norwegian restructures following state aid approval

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Jacob Schram

Norwegian CEO Jacob Schram has announced a new management structure for the airline, streamlining departments into two distinct commercial units in the Group – Airline and Airline Ecosystem.

“I have been committed to putting in place a management structure that takes us from growth to profitability by delivering our new Norwegian strategy and business plan. In order to run a profitable and sustainable company going forward, I will build the commercial part around two distinct entities with clear P&L responsibilities,” says CEO Jacob Schram.

“By bringing departments together to focus on our customers we gain insight and power to innovate and use smart choices throughout their customer journey. We will remain true to the core values of Norwegian which have been in place since its inception – a popular company that offers good quality flights at a good price,” Schram said.

The new group management will be in place from 2 June 2020.

The newly created Airline department will have the full responsibility for the profit of the core business. The department shall ensure an optimal network of routes, optimise prices, plan flight operations, as well as carry out ongoing sales and marketing activities.

Airline Ecosystem will have full performance responsibilities and will drive new business ecosystems in connection with the company’s core business. This will take place through partner agreements and new customer platforms.

Responsibility for the entire customer journey will fall under the new CUSTOMER department. The department will deliver the agreed products and services to both the Airline and Airline Ecosystem unit through concept/product development, brand & marketing, customer activation and customer service.

Operations will work towards the Airline profit unit and provide agreed products and services within flight operations, as well as technical and maintenance, ground services, security and emergency preparedness.

In recent days, the airline secured a state loan guarantee of NOK3 billion. The company has now converted NOK 12.7 billion of debt to equity

David Withers steps down from helm of Burrana

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David Withers has stepped down as CEO of Burrana, with Neal Nordstrom, a current Burrana board member replacing him.

“It is of course with very mixed emotions that I make this announcement,” Withers said. “For 12 years Burrana has been the single focus of my energy but it is the right time for me personally and the right time for the company to have a new CEO.  I thank Neal for accepting the challenge and assure all our customers, suppliers and partners that I remain fully engaged and committed.”

As chairman, Withers will remain actively engaged in the business and will continue to help drive the company’s technology development and product positioning. Paul Margis will step down as chairman but remain on the board.

Nordstrom said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by the board for this role. I am inheriting from David a strong team and competitive product range. Our immediate focus is of course navigating COVID-19 and coming out of it strong and ready to compete. Our recent award by Airbus as their IFEC supplier of the year is just one indication of the capabilities of this great company.”

Acro Cairns CEO

Acro announces new CEO

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Acro Cairns CEO

Acro Aircraft Seating has appointed Neil Cairns as its Chief Executive Officer.

Cairns was mostly recently  Vice President and General Manager at Collins Aerospace based in Tucson, Arizona and Winston Salem, North Carolina in the US and previously ran the B/E Aerospace seating facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.

Commenting upon his appointment, Cairns said: “Acro has grown solidly in recent years and I am looking forward to building on this success whilst ensuring that we remain focused on delivering the highest quality products and service to our customers. Despite the current challenging market conditions, I am also committed to ensuring that we continue to innovate and deliver differentiated and best in class aircraft seating products for our airline and leasing company customers.”

Cairns replaces Chris Leese-Wood who was appointed CEO in January 2019, following the departure of Chris Brady.

AVIC Bower

AVIC remodels UK leadership

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AVIC Bower

AVIC International has announced a series of UK executive leadership changes.

Andres Budo has been appointed Senior Vice President, Aftersales and Services, for AVIC Cabin Systems, having previously been CEO of Thompson Aero Seating.

All operational aspects of both AIM Altitude and Thompson Aero Seating will be managed by newly created positions of Vice President & General Manager responsible for Supply Chain, Quality, Operations, Programme Management & Engineering in each business. Wayne Ball has been appointed as VP & General Manager for AIM Altitude and Neil Taggart has been appointed VP & General Manager for Thompson Aero Seating, both having previously served as COO for their respective companies.

Richard Bower (main picture), CEO of AIM Altitude, has become Chief Commercial Officer for AVIC Cabin Systems.

Bower said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Chief Commercial Officer for AVIC Cabin Systems. The companies under the AVIC Cabin Systems alliance have been working closely together for some time, integrating skills and strengthening our position in the market. In my new position, I will be able to continue to enhance this working relationship and deliver value to our customers. Wayne Ball is an excellent choice for Vice President & General Manager of AIM Altitude and I have great confidence that his will prove to be an extremely successful appointment.”