Kenya Airways’ prolonged search for a replacement of Mohan Chandra has been concluded as the airline announced the appointment of Mr. Gerard Clark as their new Commercial Director.
Gerard, on his LinkedIn page, describes his own professional experience as follows:
– Spanning 25+ years, expertise across all major airline business models.
– Premium service and low fare, point-to-point and network, scheduled and charter.
– C-level experience in established and start-up business environments.
– Culturally-aware from having lived and worked in key emerging markets.
– Practical knowledge of commercial airline operations in Africa, China, the Middle East and Europe.
– Extensive network of senior level business and government contacts globally.
– Trained professionally to manage media relations.
– Spanish and French language skills.
– Master’s degree.
Specialties: International Sales, Marketing, Contract Negotiation, Route Development, Cost Reduction, Corporate Communications, Advertising, Media Buying, Branding, Media Relations, PR, Staff Training and Development, Sales Planning and Sales Force Automation, Sales System Implementation, E-Commerce, Commercial Planning, Joint Venture.
Gerard joins The Pride of Africa from Hong Kong Airlines where he held a senior position overseeing the carrier’s routes to Europe. With over 25 years of experience in the aviation industry, and in particular his knowledge about the markets in the Far and South East – an area where Kenya Airways in coming years intends to generate much of its revenue and passenger streams from – his arrival is seen as the start of a new era at the airline, which will at the end of 2014 see the retirement of long serving CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni.
One of Gerard’s main tasks will be the commercial implementation of Kenya Airways’ strategic ‘Plan Mawingo’ which foresees a near tripling of aircraft to 119 by 2022 and a near doubling of destinations to 115 on all continents.
Jimmy Kibati, who held fort after the departure of Mohan as Acting Commercial Director, will likely return to his previous role overseeing strategy and route developments, though a widened brief for him is anticipated following the way he conducted the affairs of the commercial department until now.
In March this year will KQ take delivery of the first B787 Dreamliner, allowing the progressive retirement of the aged B767 fleet, and while then enjoying fuel burn benefits of up to 20 percent also getting a significant capacity boost for both passengers and cargo as a result of the larger 787. Two more B777-300ER are also expected to join the fleet in 2014 as are several more B787-800NGs.
From here it is a very warm welcome to Gerard Clark as he takes up his new position at Kenya Airways at the helm of the commercial department.