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Airline chief resigns in conflict over strategy

Published on 20/09/2005

20 September 2005

BRUSSELS — The chief executive of airlines SN Brussels and Virgin Express, Rob Kuijpers, has resigned — reportedly due to a conflict over his authority and future company strategy.
The 67-year-old has been at the helm of SN Brussels Airlines (SNBA) since it rose from the ashes of the bankrupt Sabena at the start of 2002.

Prior to that, the Dutchman worked for 14 years with the international courier firm DHL, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported on Tuesday.

SNBA performed well under Kuijpers despite the scepticism surrounding its launch. Modestly starting with only a few European destinations, SNBA later added long-haul flights to Africa.

Further expansion was realised by entering into code sharing agreements, allowing SNBA to sell seats on other companies’ flights.

Kuijpers was also actively involved in the merger of SNBA with Virgin Express in April of this year.

A difference of opinion in the future strategy of the merged company is believed to be the cause of Kuijpers’ resignation, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.

Kuijpers had been working on a joint plan of action for both airlines in recent months.
The airlines will now come under the temporary management of a committee of key company managers.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news