The outgoing boss of Bond Offshore Helicopters, Luke Farajallah, is trading rotor blades for fixed wings, it emerged yesterday.
Mr Farajallah will join airline operator Flybe as chief operating officer on April 1 and help re-establish its base at Aberdeen.
Flybe cut 12 jobs in Aberdeen last year as it attempted £150million a turnaround plan. But the airline later reversed its decision when it announced that about 100 jobs would return Aberdeen as the base becomes operational again from March 29.
Mr Farajallah joined Bond in 2012, leading the North Sea helicopter firm through a difficult time following a fatal crash which killed 18 people in 2009.
He represented the firm during a six week fatal accident enquiry into the tragedy which found that the Super Puma AS332 L2 had suffered a “catastrophic” gearbox failure killing 16 passengers and two crew.
He will replace John Palmer who is leaving Flybe to take up a role with Boeing.
He told the Press & Journal that he is “genuinely very excited to take on this role”.
He added: “It’s a big challenge in a big company but one that has a very bright future.
“I’m also delighted that Flybe will be strongly represented in Aberdeen later this year with the opening of a new base, so that means being able to remain connected to the city and to the community I have worked within for the last two and a half years.”
He added: “I look forward to working with Saad (Hammad, Flybe’s chief executive) and the rest of the team to help deliver Flybe’s true potential, connecting more people and families across the UK’s regions and Europe.”
Mr Hammad said: “I am delighted to welcome Luke to Flybe – he brings with him a wealth of aviation experience and will play a key role in our journey to becoming Europe’s best regional airline. I would also like to thank John for his leadership, contribution and commitment over the years and wish him luck for his new role.”
Flybe, which operates from all the major Scottish airports and smaller ones in the Highlands and islands through a franchise deal with Paisley-based Loganair, last month warned that its full-year results were likely to be weaker than expected.
Exeter-based Flybe is Europe’s largest regional airline, flying 67 planes to 199 routes across 14 countries.