Last update: 08-Dec-2013 4:55 am
Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Liat board accepts Brunton’s resignation
The Board of Liat (1974) Limited has accepted the resignation of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ian Brunton effective October 1. Julie Reifer-Jones has been appointed to act as CEO. Brunton resigned from the embattled and cash strapped Liat after what he described as a “disastrous summer” for the Antigua based carrier.
The former chief executive of state-owned Caribbean Airlines Ltd (CAL) was appointed CEO of Liat on August 1, 2012. His appointment came during a period of massive sustained losses for the airline—a combined amount of almost EC$80 million in losses from 2010—and a deficit of around EC$344 million by the end of 2012, according to media reports.
Brunton had been leading a US$100m re-fleeting process from ageing Dash-8 aircraft to ATR’s—designed to help move Liat back into profit by lowering maintenance and fuel costs. He was regarded as the best man for the job when he took over the troubled airline in August 2012. Brunton has had a long and distinguished career in aviation, serving in almost every aspect of the business.
Brunton, who began his career as a pilot in the Royal Air Force, was at one time the chairman of the T&T Airline Pilots’ Association, as well as the first chairman of the T&T Civil Aviation Authority. In 2006, he became vice president operations at BWIA and in 2007 Executive Vice President of CAL. In 2009 he was appointed CEO of CAL.
Reifer-Jones has been Liat’s chief financial officer since December 1, 2008. Prior to joining the airline, she worked at Barbados-based Almond Resorts for eight years. This is the second time Reifer-Jones is acting as CEO of Liat. She briefly served in that capacity following the departure of Brian Challenger who resigned from the post on June 30, 2012.
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