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Jet Airways picks former SriLankan Airways chief Vipula Gunatilleka as CFO

Jet Airways picks former SriLankan Airways chief Vipula Gunatilleka as CFO

Jet Airways picks former SriLankan Airways chief Vipula Gunatilleka as CFO
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By Anu Sharma  Feb 22, 2022 2:25:17 PM IST (Updated)

Vipula Gunatilleka has been appointed as the Chief Financial Officer for the revival of Jet Airways by Jalan Kalrock Consortium, the new proposed promoters of the airline.

Jalan Kalrock Consortium, the new proposed promoters of Jet Airways, has appointed former SriLankan Airlines CEO Vipula Gunatilleka as the Chief Financial Officer for the revival of the airline, the consortium said on Tuesday.

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Gunatilleka was the CEO of SriLankan Airlines until January 2022. He will take charge as CFO at Jet Airways from March 1, 2022.
“Vipula is an aviation expert and regarded as a turnaround specialist in the industry. He has been shortlisted after a rigorous process run by our executive team over the last several months. I am certain Vipula will be an asset to the organisation and will provide the necessary vision to revive the operations of Jet Airways as per the plans of the consortium,” Ankit Jalan, member of the monitoring committee of Jet Airways and part of Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, said.
Gunatilleka, who was the CEO of SriLankan Airlines until January 2022, will take charge as Jet Airways CFO from March 1, 2022.
Gunatilleka said he looks forward to contributing his knowledge of the last 30 years in Jet Airways’ resurgence in its new avatar. “We will capitalise on the strong brand value which Jet Airways has in the market and use it to rebuild the lost ground,” he said.
He added that having spent sufficient time in leadership roles in the aviation industry, he is aware of the responsibility on the shoulders of the leadership team and is confident that Jet Airways will soon “regain its lost glory.”
Prior to joining SriLankan Airlines, Gunatilleka was the CFO and board member of TAAG Angola Airlines from November 2015 to July 2018 under Emirates Management. He played a pivotal role in the turnaround of the loss-making national carrier of Angola, Jalan Kalrock Consortium said in a statement.
“Gunatilleka was headhunted by the board in 2018 to re-structure SriLankan Airlines and in less than two years after assuming the duties as the CEO, the airline recorded positive EBITDA/cash flow for the fiscal year 2019/20 notwithstanding the devastating effects of the terror attacks in April 2019 in Sri Lanka followed by the global pandemic in early 2020,” according to the statement.
Jet Airways underwent the corporate insolvency resolution process under the Indian Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code from June 20, 2019, until June 22, 2021, and as per orders of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the resolution plan for the airline, submitted by the Jalan Kalrock Consortium, was approved.
Jet Airways plans to resume operations in the first quarter of 2022 after being grounded for nearly three years. The airline is planning to add over 50 aircraft to its fleet over the next three years and more than 100 over a period of more than five years.
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