Wolfgang Prock-Schauer exits Jet to bmi as chief executive

In a surprise announcement, Jet Airways has said its chief executive officer, Wolfgang Prock Schauer will step down on 15 October and Nikos Kardassis would take over as acting CEO. Prock-Schauer said  he would be moving to a position at European carrier British Midland International as its chief executive.

In a statement, Prock-Schauer cited separation from the family as the basic reason for his move, saying he had lived a separate life from them for six and a half years ever since he shifted to Jet Airways .

''I am not leaving because I don't have hope for this airline. I think it is clearly the best positioned airline in terms of network coverage, in terms of product quality.  I want to specifically highlight in terms of the people who work here both at the management level and down to all the flight attendants and people we have at the airport. So, it is a really fantastic team we have here.''

Reminiscing on his tenure with Jet Airways, he said, ''When I came, we had 40 aircrafts and now we have around 110 aircraft. From a purely domestic airline, which now serves both domestic and international, revenue has increased from around $600 million to around $3 billion in the last financial year.''

Saroj Dutta, executive director, Jet Airways, said, ''Prock-Schauer has been at the helm of Jet since June 2003 and has guided the company during the critical period of its international expansion and growth. Prock-Schauer has conveyed his gratitude to chairman Naresh Goyal and the members of the board for their guidance and support. The chairman and the members of the board thank Prock-Schauer for his leadership and commitment to the company during his tenure as the chief executive officer.''

In his address to the media Prock-Schauer said: '' I have been here for six and a half years since June 2003. My family stayed in Europe. So, I was here basically alone. I was visiting my home country many times. But nevertheless it's a long period of time and it was always clear if after my second term, which was six years, if an adequate opportunity comes up in Europe, I would choose to go there. This opportunity has come now as I have been offered the post of the chief executive of BMI – British Midland International – which is the second largest airline in terms of frequencies in London, Heathrow, which is a very good opportunity.

''...When I came, we had 40 aircraft and now we have around 110 aircraft. From a purely domestic airline, which now serves both domestic and international – and actually international has around more than 50% of the revenue share right now – the revenue increased from around $600 million to around $3 billion in the last financial year. But we have to say that with the last two years, coinciding with our expansion and the downturn in the economy, we came into a difficult situation. I think as a team we have acted very proactively to that. We were able to reduce long-haul capacity by leasing out aircraft. We restructured all our delivery stream of medium-haul aircrafts so that we don't run into overcapacity problems. So, that has been solved relatively well. We are able to adjust our work force to reduce demand and production.

''So, overall, despite a difficult situation, it is, in my opinion, the best positioned airline. I am not leaving because I don't have hope for this airline. I think it is clearly the best positioned airline in terms of network coverage, in terms of product quality, and I want to specifically highlight in terms of the people who work here both at the management level and down to all the flight attendants and people we have at the airport. So, it is a really fantastic team we have here. I would like to highlight to you that such a big company does not depend on individual persons. It has a broad range of colleagues who can take over if somebody decides to make another move.''