Jet Airways has begun the hiring process as the Airline plans to take off in early 2022, after being grounded for almost three years.
Jalan Kalrock consortium, promotors of Jet Airways, on Tuesday announced the appointment of Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the airlines. Vipula is the former CEO of SriLankan Airlines and has been tasked with reviving the grounded carrier.
He has worked for SriLankan Airlines till the last month and will join Jet Airways from 1 March 2022.
“He has been shortlisted after a rigorous process run by Executive Team over the last several months”, said Ankit Jalan, Member of the Monitoring Committee of Jet Airways and part of Jalan-Kalrock Consortium.
Mr Vipula has been seen playing a crucial role in SriLankan Airlines during the pandemic. He was considered as a ‘turnaround specialists’ and an aviation expert at that time. He was headhunted by the board in 2018 to re-structure SriLankan Airlines. In less than two years, after understanding the duties as the CEO, he brought a positive effect to SriLankan Airlines. The airlines recorded EBITDA, and cash flow for 2019-20, notwithstanding the devastating effects of the terror attacks in April 2019 in Sri Lanka followed by the global pandemic in early 2020.
His key initiatives resulted in improved services standards and operational efficiencies that accredited SriLanka Airlines with the “World’s Most Punctual Airline” twice in 2019, according to the statement issued by Jet Airways.
Mr Gunatilleka has a strong background career. Prior to joining SriLankan Airlines, he was the CRO and board member of TAAG Angola Airlines from November 2015 to July 2018 under Emirates Management. He plates a pivotal role in turnaround the loss-making national carrier of Angola.
Considering his background, key initiatives and business strategies of turning the economy of airlines, Jet Airways is expecting expertise from him. “We are excited to welcome Mr Vipul Gaunatilleka to our young and energetic team. Vipula is an aviating expert and is regarded as a turnaround specialist in the industry. I am certain he will be an asset to Jet Airlines and will provide the necessary vision to revive the operations of the organization as per the plans of the consortium,” said Ankit Jalan.
Speaking on his plans for Jet Airways, Vipula said, ━ “I am excited to join the company and looking forward to contributing my knowledge of last 30 years in Jet Airways”. We will capitalise on the strong brand value which Jet Airways has in the market and use it to re-built the lost ground, he added.