Waltzing Matilda Aviation LLC ("WMA") announced today its management team to lead its new scheduled operations.
"Just like with our recently announced Board, we have been able to assemble some of the best talent in the industry with deep expertise and the same passion for a customer centric and financially successful airline. This team has worked together as various stages through their prior careers over the past 20 years," said John Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of WMA.
The Management team will consist of:
Chief Executive Officer: John Thomas. John is the current CEO and co-founder of WMA. He led the Global Airline Practice for LEK Consulting for over 20 year advising the world's leading airlines on M&A, ancillary revenues, loyalty programs, alliances, and restructuring; led a turnaround as Group Executive, Virgin Australia Airlines, and currently also sits on the Boards of Icelandair Group hf and SkyService Investments.
Chief Operating Officer: Dave Marcontell. Dave joins WMA from Oliver Wyman where he was a Partner leading their aviation technical services and consulting division, CAVOK. Dave has over 30 years of airline and transportation industry experience with senior roles at Delta Air Lines, ABX Air, Boeing, and North-South Airways, as well as hundreds of successful consulting projects generating billions in value for major airlines across the globe. David is an FAA licensed pilot, A&P mechanic and former FAA DER. He is also the 2018 A4A Nuts and Bolts Award winner recognizing a distinguished career in commercial aircraft maintenance and engineering.
Chief Financial Officer: Ryan Gilman. Ryan has spent more than 20 years in the airline industry through various financial and commercial roles at Delta and Northwest, and most recently as an independent advisor. He brings deep experience in financial analysis, corporate strategy and commercial partnerships through high-level projects including: M&A, Chapter 11 restructuring, network optimization and joint ventures.
Chief Technology Officer: Ajay Singh. Ajay has three decades of experience in the travel, transportation, and hospitality sector. As a management consultant he has helped global airlines deploy innovative solutions both in commercial and operational functions. Prior to that, as an executive with United Airlines, he led numerous transformational programs in the areas of technology, commercial planning, operations and worldwide real estate optimization, including relocation of United's headquarters. In his role at WMA, he will be responsible for design, delivery and management of all customer, employee and vendor facing systems. "
Chief Commercial Officer: Doug Leo will join our board and will focus on helping build the right set of commercial capabilities to best suit our planned operations culminating in the appointment of a CCO. Doug was most recently SVP Network, Pricing and Revenue Management for United Airlines having also been in senior commercial roles at Northwest Airlines and USAirways.
Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer: Dr. Alex Lee. Alex has over 15 years of deep airline strategy and operational expertise having advised leading airlines around the globe on some of their most critical issues with an emphasis on fleet and network planning, operational improvements, M&A, and financial turnarounds.
Progress on Part 121 certification process
WMA is being supported in its air carrier certification efforts by FAA Qualified Certification Consultant and pre-eminent aviation technical services and advisory firm, Oliver Wyman CAVOK. Oliver Wyman CAVOK is the global leader in new air carrier startup and entry-into-service support with numerous successful certification efforts in its over 15-year history.
Having submitted its application to the FAA to add Part 121 authorization to its existing Part 135 approval, WMA has hired all of its Part 119 post holders and is deep into the startup and ramp up process. John Thomas, CEO, having been the Accountable Executive at Virgin Australia Airlines (~6,000 employees and fleet of 125 aircraft ranging from ATR72s through to B777-300ERs) will be WMA's Accountable Executive. The Company has also filled the positions of Head of IOCC and Head of Inflight with highly talented and experienced individuals, both of whom have over 30 years' experience in their respective areas of expertise.
"Various members of the management team have been working tirelessly over the past 12-18 months in preparing the company for its transition from 135 to 121 and the company remains on track to launch its scheduled services in October 2021 with the venerable De Havilland Q400 aircraft", said Mr. Thomas. Having launched a job posting section on its company website for roles in our new 121 operation, WMA has been overwhelmed by the level of interest from prospective job applicants.
The move to expand its services comes off the back of an unprecedented year of growth for WMA, which has seen its existing jet charter business growing by 80% year on year 2019 to 2020. Further expansion in the existing jet charter business is expected in the coming months.
For more information: http://www.waltzingmatildaaviation.org/scheduled-passenger-service/