The boss of South African Airways’ low cost arm Mango has been poached by budget rival Fastjet.
Nico Bezuidenhout will become chief executive of the carrier in which easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou owns a 12% stake, on August 1.
He steps into the shoes of former chief executive Ed Winter who stepped down in March weeks after Sir Stelios called a general meeting to dismiss him.
Bezuidenhout has been chief executive of Mango since the carrier commenced operations ten years ago.
He grew the airline’s market share to 25% of the South African domestic air travel market and the fleet to 10 Boeing 737-800s.
He has also twice acted in the capacity of interim chief executive of its parent company.
Fastjet chairman Colin Child said: “The board is delighted that Nico will be joining Fastjet as CEO. He brings strong commercial and strategic skills and a wealth of experience of operating a low-cost carrier.
“This experience, together with his detailed knowledge of the markets in which Fastjet operates, will be invaluable to the company as it seeks to capture the growth opportunities in the region.”
Bezuidenhout added: “Although market conditions are currently challenging, I am confident that we can build on the airline’s existing operational base to strengthen and develop the business and deliver on its considerable potential.”
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