After just over a year at the helm of Malaysian Airlines, CEO Peter Bellew has exited and moved back to his previous post at Ryanair as Chief Operating Officer.
The loss of Bellew is sure to be a huge blow to the airline, as his departure marks the third CEO to leave the company in just three years.
According to CNBC, Malaysia said in a statement the move was “unexpected” but the airline’s turnaround remained “on track and on schedule.”
Bellew joined Malaysian Airlines in 2014, only a few months after the tragic MH370 and MH17 plane crashes, and was tasked with fostering the “greatest turnaround in the history of aviation,” according to Bellew himself.
Travel Weekly recently sat down with Bellew to discuss the airline’s past and future, and the then-CEO wasn’t afraid to be frank about the turbulent few years the airline had had since the deadly crashes.
When asked about the challenges he faced steering the airline in a new direction, Bellew said, “It seemed impossible, but my mother, god rest her, had brought us up to believe that you should never take the easy road in life,” Bellew tells us with sincerity.
“If you have an opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives, you should.”
“I know this sounds esoteric and ridiculous, but that’s the way I was brought up.”
Talking about what he thought the future held for the airline and his place within it, he said, “If I can help the people out in Malaysia and get cost discipline I will be proud to have been part of it.
“Having forged through the terrible financial challenges there is an amazing backbone in the people.”
“There is an incredible unity and bond and that’s what will make the airline a great success,” he added.