Ex-CAAM chief Chester Voo appointed as AirAsia deputy group CEO


PETALING JAYA: Former aviation regulator Capt Datuk Chester Voo (pic) has taken on the unique position of serving three airlines owned by two different groups.

The former chief CEO of the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) was appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Berjaya Land Bhd’s Group Aviation on Feb 2, 2023, before being redesignated an independent non-executive director of two of its subsidiaries on Dec 1 that same year.

The subsidiaries are Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd and AsiaJet Sdn Bhd, both serving niche markets in the region, with these companies operating brands such as Berjaya Air, Asia Jet and Rafflesia Airways.

Yesterday, the AirAsia Aviation Group announced that he was appointed deputy group CEO for airline operations.

AirAsia will be familiar ground for Voo, 49, who was its director for flight operations before he joined CAAM in June 2020.

Voo, who began his career as a pilot with Malaysia Airlines in 1993, first joined AirAsia in 2008.

During his time in CAAM, he drove the processes – much of them through the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic – that led to Malaysia regaining its Category 1 status from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in October 2022.

Malaysia first obtained Category 1 status in 2003, before being downgraded to Category 2 in November 2019.

Without the Category 1 status, Malaysian carriers would not have been allowed to commence new services or add flights to the United States.

FAA also bars reciprocal code-sharing arrangements between US and Malaysian carriers when a country falls into Category 2, a status shared by countries such as Thailand, Bangladesh, Ghana and Costa Rica.

In Berjaya Air, Voo played a key role in evaluating the fleet renewal process, culminating with the recent purchase of two new ATR 72-600 aircraft custom-designed to offer premium VIP services to enhance the governance and structure of Berjaya Air and AsiaJet.

In a statement to The Star, Voo said he was deeply honoured and humbled by his latest appointment.

“I am grateful to the immense trust placed in me by two different owners, and this development will spur me to work ever harder to bring our aviation sector to greater heights,” he said.

In a Bernama report, Capital A Bhd CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying that Voo will focus on optimising and enhancing efficiencies across core airline functions as well as identifying risks to improve the airline’s overall performance.

“With a proven track record in the airline industry, including over 11 years with AirAsia, he brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously served in leadership positions including as CEO of CAAM,” he said during the AirAsia Aviation Group announcement at its headquarters yesterday.

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Chester Voo , Aviation , Berjaya , AirAsia , Airlines

   

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