Jetstar Asia has announced that Ms Chong Phit Lian will step down from her position as Chief Executive Officer on 1 February 2012. Ms Chong has served as CEO of Singapore’s largest budget airline for six years. She will remain a member of the Jetstar Asia board to help guide continued growth.
Chairman of Jetstar Asia, Dennis Choo, said Ms Chong had made a tremendous contribution to developing the low cost carrier’s Singapore hub. “Since taking over as CEO of Jetstar Asia in 2006, Ms Chong has led a rapid and very successful expansion in a competitive environment,” said Mr Choo. “Jetstar is now the largest low cost carrier in Singapore and is extremely well-positioned to make the most of emerging opportunities in the region.”
Mr Choo said Jetstar Asia would soon add three A330s to the business and onto its Air Operators Certificate, taking on functional responsibility for all long-haul flights from Singapore.
With an expanding network into China, significant investment in wide-bodied operations and the prospect of the Boeing Dreamliner as part of the Jetstar Group fleet from mid-2013, there’s a pipeline of skills and innovation driving this business forward.
“We are very pleased that Ms Chong will remain on the board of Jetstar Asia and be part of this future expansion,” he added. Mr Choo said the executive search for a Singaporean-national CEO was well-advanced, with an announcement expected in early 2012. Mr Paul Daff, most recently Head of the Qantas Group Jetconnect subsidiary in New Zealand, would serve as interim Jetstar Asia CEO. A founding senior executive of Jetstar Asia for three years, Mr Daff was formerly the airline’s Head of Commercial and has extensive experience in the aviation industry.
CEO of the broader Jetstar Group, Bruce Buchanan, thanked Ms Chong for the leadership and passion she brought to her role.
“Six years ago there were many who regarded Jetstar Asia as the underdog in a crowded marketplace,” said Mr Buchanan.
“Ms Chong has been an important member of the Jetstar Group leadership team that has helped make Jetstar Asia a successful business in its own right and a key pillar in our broader pan-Asian strategy.
“In 2012 and beyond, our focus will be on leveraging Jetstar’s leadership position in stimulating new travel demand as well as strengthening links in our network between Singapore, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand,” said Mr Buchanan.
Jetstar Asia posted its largest profit to-date in 2010/11 of SGD18 million (normalised PBT) – the same year it achieved a 46 per cent increase in capacity and carried 2.7 million passengers. It currently flies to 27 destinations and has a fleet of 16 A320s.