Malaysia Airlines chief executive Peter Bellew is to return to his old company – Ryanair – to help it sort out problems with cancellations and pilot rosters.
Bellew will return to the Irish carrier on December 1 as chief operations officer. He replaces Michael Hickey, who resigned from Ryanair following the debacle over thousands of flight cancellations.
Bellew worked for Ryanair until 2014, most recently as flight operations director. He said: “I am excited to return home to Ryanair and take up the challenge to grow the operation sustainably. I look forward to working with all the team and all the crews I know so well to further develop our growth to 600 aircraft over the next six years.”
Bellew has been in the top job at Malaysia Airlines since mid-2016 and was tasked with turning around its fortunes. He was recently quoted as saying this would be “the greatest achievement in my life” and as late as last week was discussing new aircraft orders with Airbus.
However, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is believed to have made him an offer he could not refuse in an attempt to smooth out problems at the airline.