New CEO for Cayman Airways

Cayman Airways Limited hired two senior managers, including a new CEO this week.

‘After months of recruitment the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Patrick Strasburger as CEO and John Wrightington as VP Commercial,’ said Angelyn Hernandez, Chairman of the Board, in a press release.

Mr. Strasburger

Mr. Strasburger

Mr. Strasburger, a veteran airline executive from the United States with a varied background in senior roles at both Continental and Spirit Airlines, takes up his new role effective 12 March 2007.

‘Mr. Strasburger comes well prepared for the challenge,’ added Ms Hernandez. ‘As former vice president of airport services with Spirit, he led all airport activities, from cargo sales and baggage service to training for the largest privately-owned airline in the United States.’

While at Spirit, Mr. Strasburger provided direct leadership and management for over 700 employees, negotiated and oversaw contract ground handling services in excess of $25.5 million and was responsible for an annual operating budget of $85 million, the release stated.

‘Among his successes at Spirit Airlines, Mr. Strasburger developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to maximize staffing efficiency and performance, resulting in greater on-time performance, significant improvements to productivity and customer service. He also upgraded all training programmes and developed a formal management performance, planning and review process by providing specific, measurable, achievable and challenging performance goals,’ said the release.

Prior to his post at Spirit, Strasburger was the Managing Director for International Operations and Cargo at Continental Airlines.

Mr. Strasburger thinks Cayman Airways can succeed.

‘Like many regional airlines, Cayman Airways is not without its challenges, but I believe the right elements are in place for the airline to succeed; friendly, energetic staff, and unwavering support from the board and shareholder.’

Mr. Strasburger replaced long-time Cayman Airways CEO Mike Adam, who retired last December. Tom Guyton is serving as Acting CEO in the interim.

The new VP Commercial at Cayman Airways, John Wrightington, is also an airline veteran, most recently Managing Director Network Management for Caribbean Star Airlines. The Eastern Caribbean airline serves 12 gateways with 637 weekly flights with a fleet of 11 aircraft from its base in Antigua.

Mr. Wrightington, scheduled to take up this post on 26 February, will be responsible for all commercial aspects such as Sales, Distribution, Promotion, Product, Network Management and the Cargo Department.

‘Having lived and worked in the Caribbean I am keenly aware of the unique challenges Caribbean airlines must overcome especially while facing some of the largest airlines in the world like American and Delta,’ said Mr. Wrightington.

Among Mr. Wrightington’s strengths are the development of comprehensive business plans to optimize revenue opportunities, the press release stated.

‘It is imperative to the success of the turnaround strategy that we have a competent resource driving the commercial efforts of the airline,’ said Ms Hernandez. ‘We feel that Mr. Wrightington possesses the relevant skills and experience to provide the commercial leadership that we need.’

The V.P. Commercial is one of four posts at the Cayman Airways Executive Management level, reporting in to the CEO. The Board continues its work to fill the vacant post of V.P. Finance. The remaining V.P. positions are held by Caymanians: Fabian Whorms, V.P. Maintenance and Engineering and Kris Bergstrom, V.P. Flight Operations.

The Board and executive team of Cayman Airways continue to implement its Turnaround Plan to improve operations and the financial performance of the airline, the press release stated.

‘The successful recruitment of experienced airline professionals like Mr. Strasburger and Mr. Wrightington can only serve to enhance our chances of success with our Turnaround Plan,’ concluded Ms Hernandez.