Royal Jordanian appointed German airline executive Stefan Pichler as its new CEO in May last year, hoping to cash in on a resume spanning 30 years, including time spent with Sir Richard Branson on Virgin Blue, restructuring Air Berlin, and turning around carriers including Fiji Airways and Jazeera Airways.
Pichler’s tenure at the latter in Kuwait involved the most intense restructuring in its history at the time. His “low cost high revenue” plan reduced the size of the airline’s fleet and cut 30 percent of its staff.
By the end of it, the airline had rebounded from dismal results in 2009 and 2010 to post ten consecutive quarters of profit and become the region’s most punctual carrier.
That experience has proved invaluable since Pichler returned to the Middle East. The airline, which reaches its 55th year of operations in 2018, had posted a profit only twice since the turn of the decade. Yet he has had a remarkable first year turning around the carrier’s fortunes and posting a profit overall in 2017.
In this edition of Inside AB, Shayan Shakeel quizzes Stefan Pichler on his very important and successful first year in charge.
(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)