New InselAir CEO is committed to normalizing situation within days
WILLEMSTAD – As was announced yesterday, the CEO of the local airline Albert Kluyver resigned. His successor, the Canadian Gilles Filiatreault, introduced himself to the media yesterday. During his introduction, Filiatreault indicated that the performance of the airline will have to level again within 48 hours.
Filiatreault has at least 20 years of experience in starting and restructuring airlines, including in the Caribbean.
The new CEO arrived last Sunday and immediately started with his introduction rounds. According to him, the media is also an important part of the puzzle. For this reason he requested a press conference.
Filiatreault indicated that he has to present a plan to the government by the end of this month, which is a stabilization plan. He also has to produce a business plan within the next three months and come up with a proposal to ensure an open dialogue with all the stakeholders. This means the employees, the shareholders, the media and others.
“The InselAir situation is not unique in itself. I have seen many comparable situations before. I have been doing restructuring since 1994 and InselAir are probably my number 8 or 9. The symptoms are the same but the seriousness varies from carrier to carrier. Therefore I have to identify what kind of approach that we need to put in place in order to ensure that InselAir will have a long life,” said the new CEO in his introduction.
He already had meetings with the senior management and they talked about his approach. The first approach is to ensure that the assets, the physical assets, meaning the human aspect of the company, are productive. The company has to ensure that all its commercial efforts are in the right place and that it can ensure the best return on revenues.
All the difficulties that InselAir has gone through or is going through will be addressed by the new CEO. “We have big challenges, some operational, technical, regulatory, but we will address them all.
Filiatrealt said that the amount that was made available by the government will have to be used for the current operation and not for past debts. “As managers, we will have to do a balancing act to secure the use of the 15 million dollars for the operation and when we get to make a profit we will pay the debt.”
In the meantime, the management will be seeking from its partners, the main suppliers, some relief by trying to get the payment for the current debt and making a deal for the backlog. The CEO said he does not anticipate any major roadblocks in these endeavours. But if it does happen, they will deal with it when they get there.
“The main goal right now is to bring comfort back to the passengers so they can fly with us. We need to also bring back the pride among the employees for being employed at the airline.”