Quote from todays Malta Independent onSunday
"Ernst Funk, a former vice-president for strategic alliances of Swissair, is shortly expected to be appointed Air Malta’s chief executive, The Malta Independent on Sunday has learnt.
Sources close to Air Malta confirmed to this newspaper that the decision on Mr Funk’s appointment had been taken and an official announcement was expected soon.
Sources said Mr Funk was well qualified for the job and his main role will be to face the challenge of increased competition that will face the national airline once Malta joins the European Union. “He is definitely qualified for the post and is a team player with plenty of experience,” the sources said.
It is understood that Air Malta received quite a large number of applications for this post, from both Malta and overseas, including many high-calibre applicants. The post of chief executive was advertised in the local and foreign press last October and the recruitment process has been underway ever since. Air Malta has never had a chief executive and this role was always performed by the company chairman. The present chairman is Louis Grech.
Swissair was dissolved last year after running into financial difficulties and has since been replaced by another airline, Swiss, which operates on fewer routes than its predecessor.
Mr Funk’s appointment is the second recent major development at the national airline. Last week Air Malta officially announced that it had chosen Airbus Industrie to replace the airline’s fleet.
There is however at least one error in this report: AirMalta DID have a CEO in the past and this used to be the present chairman, Louis Grech. Mr Grech was made redundant when Mr Joe N Tabone was appointed chairman in the early 90's. Mr Tabone had then assumed the position of both Company Chairman and CEO. Louis Grech was therefore forced to leave the company. Mr Grech was appointed chairman and CEO in 1996 after the resignation of Joe Tabone.
This is a much more important decision than the aircraft selection. We are now braced to see what route AirMalta will take in the coming years. Already there has been a mention - only a mention - of an Alliance, long haul flights and the A330/340 in the airline's statement following the aircraft selection decision announcement.