Former Airlines CEO accept appointment
GUS KRAUS, once the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Solomon Airlines, is returning to his old job as the national carrier prepares to capture the tourism spin-offs from the opening of international borders.
Mr. Kraus replaces Brett Gebers, whose contract was terminated five months early, Solomon Airlines Board Chairman Frank Wickham told Solomon Star.
The Board will meet on Thursday to complete the formality of Mr. Kraus’ appointment including the signing of his contract for the 12 months’ engagement.
Mr. Wickham said Mr. Kraus, a former CEO of the national carrier has accepted a 12-month appointment to lead the airline’s restarted operations following the opening of international borders, according to a statement published on Solomon Airlines’ website.
Mr. Kraus joined Air Niugini as General Manager, Cargo after he left Solomon Airlines, where he was Operations Manager as well as Commercial Manager.
Mr. Wickham said Solomon Airlines commenced a search for potential CEO candidates earlier this year following notice that current CEO Mr. Brett Gebers would complete his contract in January 2023. Mr. Gebers joined Solomon Airlines as CEO in 2017.
“We are grateful to Brett, for his significant input to Solomon Airlines during what has been an immensely challenging period, and for his decision to now graciously step aside as we enter a new era for the national carrier.
“Under Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) and international aviation law requirements, the appointment and ongoing accreditation of the CEO by CAASI is intrinsically linked to an airline’s continuing Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and therefore, ability to continue operations.
“It is therefore imperative to make a swift and smooth CEO transition which has CAASI’s full approval,” Mr. Wickham said.
“Brett steered the airline through one of the most tumultuous and challenging times in the airline’s history with the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, the airline was on an upward and profitable trajectory under his leadership.
“We also place on record our appreciation to Gus Kraus for agreeing to join the airline again as our CEO to work with the Board and support continuation until the Board decides on a longer-term arrangement for engagement of the CEO, “he said.
Mr. Gebers has made some controversial decisions in his time as CEO of the national carrier. These included the decision by Management earlier this year to sell off the 36-seater Dash 8 Aircraft.
That decision, taken without prior consultation with the Board, had been quashed and the Dash 8 is returning to Solomon Airlines.
Mr. Wickham confirmed that the Dash 8 aircraft is returning to join Solomon Airlines domestic fleet of Twin Otters for the busy Christmas-New Year holiday season.
The aircraft is completing a C-check or full maintenance in Perth, Western Australia before it returns to Solomon Islands.
By Alfred Sasako