PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines says its chief executive officer Peter Bellew’s decision to leave after just over a year with the organisation and rejoin former employer Ryanair, was “unexpected”.
The national airline said in a statement that its board of directors would meet and an announcement on the matter would be made in due course.
“Our operations and services continue as normal and our commitment and priority are our customers.
“The turnaround of Malaysia Airlines remains on track and on schedule as per the MAS Recovery Plan,” the statement said.
RyanAir Holdings PLC had said in a statement that Bellew would rejoin the company as its chief operations officer.
Bellew will be given the specific responsibility of helping the Irish airline address a pilot staffing issue that led to thousands of flight cancellations, the statement said.
Malaysia Airlines noted in its statement that in a press conference on Sept 27, Bellew had expressed his commitment to Malaysia Airlines when asked to comment on speculation that he would rejoin RyanAir.
“He said that he was happy to be in Malaysia and that the turnaround of Malaysia Airlines would be ‘the greatest achievement of my life’.”
When contacted earlier today, Bellew told FMT he would not be giving any statement to the press.
“Sorry, I’m not doing any press (interviews) as it’s a matter for the board and shareholders.
“Thanks for the coverage over the years. (I) appreciate the support,” he said in a WhatsApp message.