Saturday, August 15, 2020

Kaushik Khona back as GoAir CEO to pull airline out of Covid turbulence

Struggling to cope with the financial impact of Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled the aviation sector, low-cost airline GoAir on Friday showed the door to its Chief Executive Officer Vinay Dube, and reappointed Kaushik Khona for a second term.
The budget carrier has changed its CEO for the third time in less than two years.
Khona was at the helm of GoAir from April 2009 to June 2011. His appointment comes at a time when the carrier is facing strong headwinds in business, mainly due to slump in passenger demand and flight operations being hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since last 12 years, he has been known as a turnaround man and has managed and headed various businesses successfully as a Chief Experience Officer (CXO),” the airline said.
Starting his career with Vadilal Industries Ltd in 1989, Khona, 53, was appointed as the CEO of the then four-year-old budget carrier in April 2009. He served as the CEO till June 2011 and remained in the Wadia group handling other functions till October 2011.
“Khona was instrumental in turning around the airline and stabilising its growth. He played a role in the airline placing the order for 72 Airbus A320neo aircraft at the Paris Air Show in 2011. There is no better man to turnaround the airline at this juncture,” said an aviation analyst.
GoAir has seen too many CEOs in the recent past. Dube, who was heading Jet Airways before it was grounded in April 2019, had joined the airline in February 2020. The airline’s last CEO C Vrieswjik had left in February 2019. Before him, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, who also had a stint with Jet Airways, was the CEO.
With international commercial flights shut till August 31, the airlines have to generate revenues from limited domestic operations. Though domestic flights resumed on May 25, the demand has been low, and occupancy is below 60 per cent.
The air traffic data released on Thursday showed an 83 per cent dip in July passenger traffic compared to June.
15/08/20 Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror
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