The Airlines Association of Southern Africa, announces that its chief executive officer, Chris Zweigenthal, will retire from the organisation at the end of August 2021.
Zweigenthal joined AASA in February 2002 as Deputy Chief Executive and was appointed CEO in March 2009. His retirement is for personal reasons and he will relocate to the USA to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
"Chris is a legend in the Southern African air transport industry and is widely regarded for his tenacity, calm diplomacy and energetic work ethic. While we have confronted - and continue to face - serious challenges, the airline industry in Southern Africa is deeply indebted to Chris for the constructive engagement and goodwill that he has fostered across the sector, especially with government regulators, policymakers, legislators and state-run infrastructure service providers throughout the Southern African Development Community.
We wish Chris and his family a well-deserved retirement. He will leave big shoes to fill," said Elmar Conradie, AASA chairperson.
Prior to AASA, Zweigenthal, who is a civil engineer by profession, worked initially for Transnet. In 1988 he joined SAA where he held senior management positions in its Petroleum Affairs, Flight Operations and Marketing Planning departments and later as Vice President Global Passenger Services.
While at SAA he was also seconded to Kampala for two years as managing director of the South African, Tanzanian and Ugandan joint-venture carrier, SA Alliance Air.
A recruitment process is underway to find a successor to Zweigenthal and ensure a smooth transition.