Jeh Wadia steps down as GoAir MD; ex-Spirit Airlines CEO appointed VC

2021-03-22 15:39:45

NEW DELHI: Ahead of an impending IPO, Jeh Wadia, part of GoAir’s promoter family, has stepped down as managing director of the low cost carrier (LCC) while continuing as a promoter.
The airline has appointed former Spirit Arlines CEO Ben Baldanza as vice-chairman of the board.
“With the goal of taking GoAir to its next phase of growth, the promoters of the company and its board came together to formulate a long-term plan… to further strengthen the management of the company by bringing on-board proven industry professionals,” GoAir said in a statement.
Baldanza, who has been an advisor to GoAir from 2018 and director since 2019, is an airline industry veteran of several decades. He has worked in American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines among others, before becoming the CEO of Spirit Airlines in 2006.
Baldazna Spirit Airlines went public by successfully leading its IPO in 2011. GoAir, which has been planning an IPO for over a decade now, is learnt to be finally getting ready to go public next fiscal.
Speaking on behalf of the promoter family, chairman Nusli Wadia said: “We are happy that Ben has accepted the position of vice-chairman. His experience in creating the first ULCC in US, turning it profitable and successfully leading its IPO are of great value, as GoAir embarks on the next phase of its growth journey.”
Baldanza said: “I am excited to be part of GoAir’s next stage of journey. This gives me the opportunity to apply my years of airline experience in the vibrant and fast-growing market of India to create enduring value for all stakeholders.”
“Baldanza, as VC, will now work directly with the management team, comprising of CEO Kaushik Khona and CFO Pankaj Chaturvedi, in the next growth phase of GoAir into making it India’s first ultra LCC. Consequently, Jeh Wadia, part of the promoter family, has stepped down from his position of MD while continuing as a promoter,” the airline statement said.

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