Aviation industry veteran, Wrenelle Stander, has been appointed Executive in charge of Comair's airlines division, the company's CEO, Erik Venter announced today (SUBS: Wednesday 26 September 2018).

From the beginning of November Stander will lead Comair's two airline brands, kulula.com and British Airways (which Comair operates regionally as part of a license agreement). Venter says, "We're delighted that Wrenelle has joined us in this evolution of the business, as she brings a wealth of aviation and leadership experience. Comair is moving its diversified businesses out from within the airline to allow each business unit to compete more effectively in its respective industry, and the leadership structure needs to reflect and enable this." Under Comair's new structure, the group also has executives heading its other business units: hospitality and tourism, aviation training, and Nacelle IT solutions.

The company last week posted record profits, resulting in 72 years of uninterrupted profitable operations, thought to be globally unique to the industry.

Stander says, "I'm delighted to be joining Comair at an exciting time for its aviation division, which will enter the next phase of its fleet renewal programme in January, as well as launching numerous technological enablers to improve the customer journey as well as its commercial effectiveness."

Stander has more than 25 years' experience in the aviation and energy industries, 15 of them at executive leadership level. Her previous posts include that of Managing Director of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company (ATNS), one of three women worldwide to head an air navigation services company. She was also Deputy CEO of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and Director General at the Department of Transport.

More recently Stander has held a number of senior roles at Sasol, amongst others serving as Managing Director Sasol Gas, where she ensured the completion of the Mozambique pipeline expansion project and spearheaded the process to transition natural gas customers to a new pricing dispensation and more recently in her current role of Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, during which she was instrumental in a multi-year process of engaging on air quality with multiple stakeholders including government, the Minister of Environmental Affairs, the Environment Portfolio Committee, NGOs, communities and the media.

She also has extensive board experience at Comair, having previously served as an independent, non-executive director from 2008 to 2016. Currently she serves as a director of the Sishen Iron Ore Company Pty Ltd, as well as on the board of Christel House, an education NGO.

She holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in the UK, and a BA (Hons) degree from UCT.