After eleven months, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) has appointed a new chief executive, Michael DiLollo.
The airline is also expected to hold an annual general meeting soon.
It’s a significant step for the Philip Marshall-led CAL board which was mandated by Finance Minister Larry Howai to turn the cash-strapped national carrier around in June 2013.
DiLollo, a Canadian who spent 20 years at Air Transat, began work yesterday, saying the challenge of heading the State-owned airline was “too sweet to let up”.
DiLollo replaces former CAL executive Robert Corbie who resigned in June 2013 almost one month after the entire CAL board, then chaired by Rabindra Moonan, was sacked by Howai following what were described as breaches in governance.
The company also announced that it has hired a new chief financial officer (CFO), Tyrone Tang.
DiLollo said at a press conference at the Hilton Trinidad yesterday that he’s focused on stabilising the internal operations of CAL and will centre his tenure on four pillars-safety, people (staff), customers and sustainability.
Asked how he will reconcile company decisions with the wishes of the political directorate, given that CAL is majority-owned by the State, DiLollo said companies must be accountable to shareholders.
He explained that the airline faces internal and external threats which must be adequately dealt with to have any sustainability.
The external threats, he outlined, included the “ferocious competition” from low-cost carriers which were now running on CAL routes.
The internal threats, he said, were cost cutting measures.
To this end, the company is doing a route analysis to determine what routes will be streamlined and which will be cut.
Questioned on whether CAL’s London route, which has been unprofitable, will be cut, DiLollo said he will wait until the analysis is done before making any statement.
He said the company was focused on utilising assets on the right routes.
He observed that when new routes are launched, companies usually suffered some losses and it would be premature to answer.