The new Saudi carrier poached another well-known top manager

New Saudi carrier has poached another well-known top manager

Riyadh Air announced big ambition to become a world-class airline. In her plans — bring the number of referrals to 100 referrals over the next few years. The carrier is funded by Saudi Arabia's Sovereign Wealth Fund, which is leading a global “hunt” for For experienced aviation professionals.

Along with the official announcement of the formation of Riyadh Air last Sunday, the airline announced that Tony Douglas, who previously led Etihad Airways to success, has been appointed to the position of chief executive. And on Monday it became known about another personnel acquisition.  

Peter Belew has been in the aviation industry for the past 37 years and most recently was EasyJet's COO. After two and a half years of successful service, he abruptly announced his retirement last July.

Belew joined Luton-based EasyJet in January 2020, and before that, just a quick goodbye; with rival discounter Ryanair, where he held the same position.

Ryanair attempted to prevent Belew from joining the airline founded by Stelios Hadji-Ioannou by claiming in a notorious lawsuit that Belew had a contract clause preventing him from holding similar positions with rival companies.

Irish High Court dismissed Ryanair's case and Bellew joined EasyJet shortly before the pandemic.

Belew's scandals continued at EasyJet, where the flight attendants and pilots union accused him of “misleading” investors and employees in the midst of a pandemic. Belew wrote a letter of resignation at a difficult time for a discounter that has struggled to re-employ staff laid off during the pandemic.

Belew also served as Chief Operating Officer of Malaysia Airlines from September 2015, after which he briefly took over as CEO until November 2017.

During his tenure as head of the Kuala Lumpur-based airline, Malaysia Airlines was accused by the flight attendant union of introducing discriminatory practices after « for excess weight flight attendants were fired.

According to unofficial reports, Belew has been with Riyadh Air since January. Announcing his role, he wrote on social media: “I am delighted to join as COO of the Riyadh Air — Saudi Arabia's new national carrier to further expand the Saudi aviation ecosystem locally and globally.

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