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Cobham announces multiple key senior appointments

written by Hannah Dowling | October 5, 2021

Charter, FIFO and special missions operator Cobham has announced a number of new key senior appointments within its special mission and regional services units.

According to Cobham CEO John Boag, the operator is “progressively making positive changes” in order to “ensure we have the right people leading our teams to deliver on our growth objectives, enhance operational outcomes and advance customer engagement”.

Cobham announced on Friday that James Woodhams has been appointed to the role of managing director, special mission, which will have Woodhams overseeing airborne surveillance and search-and-rescue operations.

Woodhams first joined Cobham in 2020 as chief transformation officer and has played a key role in the transformation of the business over the past 18 months, the operator said.

He has varied experience in executive roles across finance, telecommunications, and aviation industries with significant experience in value creation, commercial negotiation, company transformation and M&A.

Meanwhile, awarded Australian Defence Force flying instructor Claude Alviani has been appointed to the role of managing director, regional services.


In his new role, Alviani will oversee Cobhams charter, FIFO and freight services.

He has over 40 years’ experience in the aviation industry, and is a commercial Air Transport Pilot licence holder, who has also held senior leadership roles with aviation companies providing offshore transport services for petroleum operators, as well as services to the resources sector and government agencies.

Alviani also brings airline industry experience, including contracted passenger and freight charter services throughout Australia and New Zealand, Cobham said.


“Claude’s experience positions him exceptionally well to lead Cobham regional services with its ongoing fleet renewal program and continued focus on growth in the charter and FIFO market,” Boag said.

Industry veteran Phil Hood has also been appointed as Cobham’s inaugural head of regional services for south-east Australia.

The new Adelaide-based role is dedicated to ensuring an “exemplary, personalised customer experience” for Cobham customers across South Australia and the eastern seaboard, the company said.

Hood has over two decades of experience in the aviation industry, including airport management roles for several major national and international airlines.

Cobham said it will leverage Hood’s “extensive experience” in order to better deliver “an exceptional end-to-end customer experience”.

Boag welcomed the new appointment.

“Phil brings a wealth of information in this space and he has hit the ground running, working with both our internal teams and existing customers to identify where we can enhance services and improve the overall customer experience,” he said.

Boag added that the company is now focused on implementing strong governance structures that promote a dynamic work culture and service excellence.

“We have a great track record when it comes to customer service, but we know we can do better – we are progressively making company-wide changes to promote the culture that translates into positive experiences for all of our customers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hood said that customer service means more now than ever before, as customers, particularly FIFO clientele, increasingly make decisions on airline partners based on “much more than schedule and price”.

“Our focus at Cobham is on understanding our customers and building partnerships with them, focusing on their whole journey with us,” he said.

“We know it is not just about the flight. The customers’ journey begins well before they arrive at the airport and continues long after they have landed.”

Last week, Cobham extended its agreement with Embraer for repairs and maintenance on its fleet of three E190s.

It comes after Cobham signed a two-year contract extension with mining company IGO, to provide FIFO services to its Nova nickel, copper and cobalt mine in WA’s Goldfields region, using Cobham’s fleet of E190s and Bombardier Q400s.

According to Embraer, the newly extended Pool Program agreement with Cobham will see the operator covered for full repairs of components and parts, airframe maintenance, and given unlimited access to a large stock of components at the company’s distribution centres.

Australian operators are offered service and support via Embraer’s Asia-Pacific facility, based in Singapore.

The Brazilian plane maker said through the extended Pool Program agreement, Cobham will benefit from significant savings on repair and inventory costs, as well as a reduction in required warehousing space and resources required for repair management.

Embraer said the charter operator will also ultimately be provided with guaranteed performance levels and highlighted that its 12-month average reliability factors of the global E-Jet fleet in the region stands at 99.97 per cent completion rate, and a schedule reliability of 99.59 per cent.

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