Oman Air CEO Resigns — What Does This Mean For The Airline?

This morning Oman Air revealed that their CEO, Paul Gregorowitsch, has resigned, seemingly without much notice.

Oman Air is one of my favorite airlines, and I even met their CEO twice. He is one of the most well-spoken executives in the industry and has done a great job strengthening the Oman Air brand around the world.

Oman Air Business Class.

However, I can’t say this move does not worry me. In 2016, the airline is believed to have lost over $300 million, and perhaps even more this year. With ever-increasing competition in the Gulf and lower airfares than ever, Oman Air might be having a hard time competing. What worries me most is the history of Mr. Gregorowitsch. In 2011 he left his position at Martinair, which ceased passenger operations later that year. Before coming to Oman Air, he was with airberlin, which he left in 2014. We all know where they’re heading right now.

Ultimately, this doesn’t have to mean that Oman Air will be ceasing operations anytime soon. If they did, it would be an enormous loss. I look forward to hearing more about this, and especially finding out why Mr. Gregorowitsch left so suddenly. I wish him all the best and look forward to seeing what Oman Air’s new CEO does for the airline. Perhaps those New York flights will take off after all? šŸ˜‰

Comments

  1. In recent interviews he confirmed that he was leaving next year. I am not surprised that they have decided to get someone new in now with the big decision on the 787/a350 due along with first class on the new 787 coming online shortly.

  2. Oman Air really needs to join an alliance or partner with other airlines to be attractive to the global traveller.

  3. The EVP of Products and Brand has arguably been leading the biggest quality improvements at Oman, so maybe not a bad thing. Better than promoting a CFO/COO who would do more intense cost-cutting. Shows where their priorities are for now

  4. There is a group of airlines CEO’s that roam from airline to airline promising the world but delivery nothing but debit and red ink, Mr Gregorwiszth is one of them. James Hogan ex Ethaid, Seftan Pichler ex CEO Air Berlin.. they target niche airlines once the Boards question them they off. There should be a black list for this group , as the screw around with employees life’s as not an industry where skills are easily transferred to other industries.

  5. @mark

    I am not sure that the CEO is entirely to blame here. In his old interviews he stuck to the party line with plans that were drawn up prior to his arrival and the drop in oil price. We just don’t know what he really had control over. In his recent interviews he turned and was questioning the decisions that were being made which suggests that he doesn’t have as much control as you may think.

    Being a CEO is difficult at the best of times as you constantly have to keep the board on side and it isn’t just your decision. Doing it In the Gulf takes it to another level as other people were clearly making decisions above his head.

  6. The CEO should be the one to blame (and he should graciously accept all blame). That’s what leadership means: taking responsibility for the company you lead. It comes with the salary and the territory.

  7. I agree that publicly he will shoulder the blame. However it doesn’t mean that he is responsible.

    All the gulf airlines are running at a loss, is that the fault of the CEO or the people that they are taking orders from?

  8. I know afew people in the UK who work for Oman Air and this has been in the pipeline for many months. He is looking to return to Holland to spend time with his family.

  9. @Mark O’Reilly & Chris,

    You are both right. Mark – yes he is one of the roaming band of ceo’s who are all talk but no action. They talk a good game but deliver very little but empty slogans. His one was “To be the best”…seriously? who are you kidding with this nonsense? He arrived in an airline that was already losing 100mil/year and each year he was there the losses just got bigger and bigger. He has a track-record of zero commercial success anywhere he has worked. But that’s ok because he made a lot of money for himself.

    However, Chris is right, Oman Air is like the twin sister of Gulf Air. Another mess of an airline that sucks the government dry and never has, nor ever will turn a profit. He had lots of help in making this mess because Oman Air is largely run by people from GulfAir, people who are not qualified for the positions they hold or employable anywhere else and have a lot to lose so they play politics. It is well known that all mideast carriers operate like this, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Kuwait airways, etc etc etc

    So this new guy who is taking over, same old story, he will blame this year’s losses on the guy who just left and the cycle will continue.

    Solutions are limited and not easy. Either shut it down, retire the useless ones at the top, renegotiate the contracts for everyone else, and make lots of the uneeded workforce redundant. Or..just shut it down and let the other neighbourhood carriers fill the vacuum. There is no future for this airline in its current shape.

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