Former easyJet commercial chief drafted in to run Flybe

Former easyJet commercial chief drafted in to run Flybe

A former easyJet commercial chief is being drafted into run troubled Flybe.

Current chairman and chief executive Jim French is splitting his role with Saad Hammad becoming chief executive.

Hammad was chief commercial officer at easyJet for four years until 2009 and a past non-executive director of Air Berlin. He is currently a managing director at private equity firm Gores Group.

The change at the top of loss-making Flybe, which is selling its Gatwick slots to easyJet for £20 million, will see French become non-executive chairman from August 1.

The airline announced deepened annual losses of £40.7 million last month.

French said: "We are delighted to welcome Saad to Flybe.  He brings with him a wealth of industry experience as well as a track record of leadership and board positions across a range of public and private businesses and we are very much looking forward to working with him.

"Flybe has recently updated the City on the significant progress made in its major turnaround plan which is on track to deliver over £50 million in long-term cost savings and has generated over £40 million in cash to fund the transition.

"The next key elements of the plan are to capitalise on its revised competitive low cost-base and Flybe's strong brand profile.”

Hammad said: "Flybe is making excellent progress on its turnaround plan.

“The business is once again 'fit to compete' and, with further opportunities to drive its competitive advantages, I look forward to leading Flybe into a new and exciting era."

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