Cathay Pacific has announced that its current CEO, John Slosar, will succeed Christopher Pratt as chairman of the airline in March 2014. The CEO role will in turn be taken by Ivan Chu, currently the airline’s chief operating officer.
Slosar, who joined the Swire group in 1980, takes over at a critical time for Cathay Pacific as international and regional competition mounts. The rise of Middle East carriers offering alternatives for customers travelling between Australasia and Europe has created high competitive tension in the market, and on the regional front Cathay Pacific and its sister carrier Dragonair will soon be competing with locally-based start-up carriers including Jetstar Hong Kong.
Chu follows Slosar’s footsteps, with both having been chief operating officer before taking up the CEO role. Chu joined Cathay Pacific in 1984 and has a first-hand understanding of some of the airline’s key markets, having worked in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand and Australia. He was recently in Australia speaking at the CAPA summit, at which time he indicated Cathay Pacific would be seeking more capacity rights between Hong Kong and Australia.
Read more about the competitive position of Asia’s major airlines in the September issue of Australian Aviation.