World Biz
Tigerair appoints new CEO
Last Updated: 2014-05-08 08:19 | Xinhua
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Singapore-headquartered budget carrier Tigerair, which reported net losses for a third financial year, is replacing its chief executive officer, it announced Wednesday.

Lee Lik Hsin will take over from current CEO Koay Peng Yen with effect from May 12, it said.

A shipping veteran, Koay had been chief executive officer of Tiger Airways Holdings Limited since August 2012. He took the job after Tigerair was troubled by the impact from a suspension of the operations of its Australian unit in July 2011 on safety concerns.

The company last week reported losses for a third straight year for the financial year ended March 31, 2014 as intense competition and high fuel costs added to the challenges facing the firm in recent years.

The board of Tigerair noted the contribution of Koay, saying that he "nurtured the management team, introduced a sense of purpose to the organization, and managed its external investments in accordance with the rapidly changing circumstances of the industry."

During his tenure, Tigerair endeavored to improve the fortunes of its overseas units, however, turbulence in those markets hampered fledgling carriers from establishing a decisive hold.

Consequently, Tigerair sold 60 percent of its Australian unit to Virgin Australia, withdrew entirely from Tigerair Philippines and curbed the network of Tigerair Mandala.

Tigerair Singapore, which had been growing at the rate of 30 percent in the past three years, "hit turbulence when the market sagged in mid-2013 through the imbalance of capacity and demand," the statement said.

Nonetheless, the statement said that Tigerair Singapore had started the process of consolidating its services in preparation for a decisive turnaround in its prospects by the time of Koay's departure.

It said that Koay will serve as an advisor to the board and remain as a non-executive director until July 31.

The incoming CEO Lee has "served with distinction" on the Tigerair board as a representative of Singapore Airlines, the major shareholder, the statement said.

He has been "tested in demanding assignments" during his 20 years in Singapore Airlines and brings with him "a wealth of experience at the senior level in the airline industry," it said.

Tigerair has said recently that it expects yield and load factors to remain under pressure amid an oversupply of capacity in the region.

It is also reviewing its investment in Tigerair Mandala.

Established in 2004, Tigerair comprises three airlines such as Tigerair Singapore, Tigerair Australia and Tigerair Mandala.

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