Jet Airways, the country’s second largest carrier by passenger numbers, has appointed Cramer Ball as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, subject to all requisite government/regulatory approvals including his security clearance being obtained.
Gaurang Shetty, director and manager will continue to lead the company till the requisite approvals are obtained and Ball assumes charge as the CEO of the firm, it added.
Ball, 46, an Australian national is a certified accountant and has previously held positions in Ansett Australia, Etihad Airways, Gulf Air, Kendell Airline and Quantas. He was also formerly the CEO of Air Seychelles.
The new CEO comes four months after Gary Kenneth Toomey stepped down from the position after a stint of just seven months with Jet Airways.
Toomey was appointed CEO of Jet Airways in mid-June 2013 when Nikos Kardassis resigned from his position after serving his second term with the carrier as CEO from October 2009 to May 2013. He previously served the airline between 1993 and 1999.
Toomey was also an Australian national and previously worked with Air New Zealand Group as president and CEO and Airlines PNG in Papua New Guinea as CEO. Prior to these jobs, he also worked with Qantas Airways Ltd as deputy CEO and CFO of Australian Airlines.
Ball’s appointment indicates Etihad Airways, which had picked 24 per cent stake last year, is closely associated with the strategic decisions of the firm. A former employee of Etihad, his last position was with a firm which is part controlled by the Abu Dhabi-based airlines. Etihad holds minority equity stake in Air Seychelles.
He had quit Air Seychelles around the same time as Toomey resigned from Jet.
At Air Seychelles Ball was closely involved in restructuring the carrier. He had joined Air Seychelles in January 2012 as part of a partnership in which Etihad Airways acquired 40 per cent of the airline and secured a five year management contract. He took the airlines into profitability in his first year of leadership.
In his two-year tenure he helped restructure and re-engineer the business with a view to achieving commercial sustainability. The turnaround program saw the introduction of a new network plan, new aircraft, new product and service initiatives, and new staff training and development opportunities. In February 2013, the airline was able to report a net profit of $1 million, a turnaround after three consecutive years of losses.
Meanwhile Jet Airways posted record loss for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2014.
At a standalone level it posted net loss of Rs 2,153.57 crore for the quarter as compared to net loss of Rs 495.53 crore in the year-ago period. However, total income increased from Rs 4,268.46 crore to Rs 4,678.17 crore in the same period.
For the full year, the firm the firm posted consolidated net loss of Rs 4,129.76 crore for the year ended March 31, 2014 as compared to net loss of Rs 779.78 crore in FY13. Its total income increased marginally from Rs 19,409.22 crore to Rs 19,445.3 crore in the same period.