Harbour Air Group (“Harbour Air”), North America’s largest seaplane airline, is pleased to announce the appointment of Bert van der Stege as CEO. Effective today, Bert joins Harbour Air from the WestJet Group where he held responsibility for its low-cost carrier Swoop, as Head of Commercial & Finance. Mr. van der Stege will succeed Greg McDougall, who will assume the role of Founder and Chairman on the company’s Board of Directors.
In his role as Founder and Chairman of Harbour Air, Greg will continue to play a critical role in the development of Harbour Air’s all-electric plane and in promoting and advocating for innovation and safety within the aviation industry.
“Having started Harbour Air in 1982 as a two-plane operation, I am immensely proud of how the company has grown over the years” says Greg McDougall. “It has been a privilege to work with the team and build the organization into what is today an iconic Canadian company with 40 aircraft, 10 bases, and over 500,000 annual passengers. I am pleased to welcome Bert as the new CEO of Harbour Air and am confident he will successfully lead Harbour Air in its next phase of growth. Bert brings over 20 years of experience in the airline industry and a track record of driving profitable growth, building brand loyalty and, most importantly, fostering a strong company culture based upon on values of safety, service, innovation, and team spirit.”
Prior to his role as Head of Commercial and Finance at Swoop, Mr. van der Stege served as the Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and as the Vice President Commercial and Chief Restructuring Officer at First Air. Over the years, he has also held various positions with RwandAir, Arik Air, and Lufthansa Group.
“It is with great excitement that I join Harbour Air” says Bert. “Nowhere else in the world do you have an airline that is quite as distinctive. From passengers commuting every day to those visiting Canada and taking the tour of a lifetime, Harbour Air has found a way to share their passion for flying with the world. I am motivated by the opportunities ahead and honoured to be carrying on the legacy that Greg and his team created.”
Harbour Air’s long-term President, Randy Wright, will be taking on a special advisory role to both Bert and the Board. Randy has been with Harbour Air since 2001 and has had an enormous impact on the company during this time. He played a critical role in advancing Harbour Air’s standing in the Canadian aviation landscape and his leadership throughout Harbour Air’s expansion over the last 21 years has been invaluable.
“I would like to thank both Greg and Randy for their confidence and support of me in this new role” says Bert. “Harbour Air would not be in the position it is today without their valuable contributions, and I am grateful to be able to count on their experience and guidance as I become familiar with our unique organization.”