Kuwait Airways has appointed Ebrahim Abdullah Al-Khuzam as its new CEO, succeeding Rasha Al-Roumi, who resigned in April. Al-Roumi also held the post of chairwoman.

Al-Khuzam was appointed to the airline’s board in April and has now assumed the additional role of CEO.

Al-Khuzam was formerly the MD of AREF Investment Group and has held several other senior positions in finance and telecommunications companies.

In a statement, Kuwait Airways said, “Al-Khuzam’s proven leadership qualities and years of senior-level management experience are expected to provide Kuwait’s official national carrier with a renewed impetus and drive.”

According to the statement, his first act as CEO will be to make a thorough assessment and review on the progress of the airline’s five-year strategic plan.

The state-owned carrier, which had been in the doldrums for much of the 1990s and 2000s, is undergoing a major re-fleeting exercise. It is building a new temporary terminal to ease congestion at Kuwait International Airport and is investing heavily to improve staff training.

The national carrier of Kuwait aims to win back passengers who have been lured away by newer fleets and larger route networks of other Gulf carriers, notably Dubai-based Emirates Airline, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

Al-Khuzam said, “While it will be my job to assess the progress Kuwait Airways is making, with regards to the five-year transformation plan, I would like to assure all passengers, employees and stakeholders that the ambitious acquisition strategy of 35 new aircraft by 2021—and a thorough reform of the airline’s operations, commercial and service infrastructure—will be a consistent guideline for taking the airline forward over the coming years.”

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com