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.
About Comair Limited
Comair Limited is a South African aviation group, offering scheduled and non-scheduled airline services within South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, as its main business. The group operates under its low-fare airline brand, kulula.com, as well as under the British Airways livery, as part of a license agreement.
In addition to scheduled and non-scheduled airline services, Comair also offers the following non-airline related services;
A catering service,
Its award-winning domestic and international SLOW lounges have set the standards for airline hospitality in South Africa. It is expanding this offering, while its reputation as a lounge operator has resulted in management contracts from other companies.
Comair's Investment in technology to improve operational efficiency and offer innovative products to travel agencies and consumers has seen it become the country's largest digital travel distribution network, covered under the Comair Travel brand.
The Comair Training Centre, originally founded in early 2000 to train the airline's own flight and cabin crew has grown considerably and now provides operational training for pilots and crew from other domestic and international airlines and even overseas air forces. Comair acquired EPT Aviation Training and Global Training College South Africa in 2017 with the primary objective to enhance its already formidable proposition, increasing its capacity for external commercial training of cabin crew, passenger handling, and travel and tourism training. It holds benefits for not only Comair, but the many young South Africans who envisage a career in aviation.
Comair's most recent acquisition is that of the leadership development consultancy company, Metaco Holdings. The acquisition fits well with Comair's training business that already encompasses courses for pilots, cabin crew, ground operations staff and travel and tourism. Through Comair's existing client base, it has identified the demand for leadership and team coaching, and Metaco fits this requirement.
Managed and owned by South Africans through its listing on the JSE, Comair has operated successfully in this country since 1946. Comair is the only known airline to have achieved operating profits for 72 consecutive years, has a safety record which is internationally recognised and a level 3 B-BBEE recognition. Comair has independently been certified by the Top Employers Institute, as one of the Top Employers South Africa 2018.
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