Cathay Pacific’s Former Chairman Resigns From Air China Board

John Slosar has announced his resignation from the board of Air China. The businessman will step down from his role on November 6.

Boeing 787-9 ‘B-1368’ Air China
Air China is going through some changes following one of its director’s resignation. Photo: Alan Wilson via Flickr

Recent troubles

ATW Online reports that the businessman has been a non-executive director with the Hong Chinese carrier since 2014. The 62-year old also announced of his resignation of Cathay Pacific back in September, citing his intention to retire this winter.

Slosar also worked with Cathay’s parent, Swire Group for 39 years. During this time, he held stints as the firm’s chief operating officer and chief executive officer. Air China holds a 30 percent share in the Hong Kong-based airline, tying both carriers close together.

Airlines in the region have been going through a tough time as of late, especially in light of the large-scale protests in Hong Kong. Cathay faced an 11.3 percent dip in the number of passengers served from last year as a result of local issues. 

The demonstrations have caused continuous flight cancellations and disruptions. Former Cathay CEO Rupert Hogg also stepped down amid the social tensions.

Air China, B-1431, Boeing 787-9
Hong Kong’s political climate has had a huge impact on the operations of airlines within the region. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Emotional farewell

In order to reassure staff, Slosar sent a company-wide memo to Cathay last month. The South China Morning Post reports that the document left a strong message for the future retiree’s colleagues.

I am sure that everyone in the Cathay Pacific Group would agree that recent weeks have brought some of the most extraordinary and challenging times we have ever experienced.

“I can well appreciate that such volatility can cause concern over what the future may hold. But, as an airline, volatility is the norm and we have always been subject to uncertainties in the business and geopolitical environment.

“Each time we have faced challenging times, we have emerged stronger than ever before. And I do believe this will be the case once again, so have confidence.”

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 -1000
Cathay Pacific has also been greatly impacted by troubles in Hong Kong. Photo: Bill Abbott via Flickr

Who will join the board?

Fellow Swire veteran Patrick Healy will take over as Cathay’s chairman after the carrier’s next board meeting. Flight Global reports that he is also a strong contender to replace Slosar once again, this time on the board of Air China.

The 53-year old joined Swire in 1988 and spent 14 years with its beverages division. Thereafter, he became the CEO of the conglomerate’s HAECO Xiamen brand for four years. He is now the managing director of Swire Coca Cola Limited and John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Limited.

Along with his existing corporate responsibilities, Healy is also a non-executive director of Swire Properties Limited. Therefore, with his experience, the board would be joined by someone that they are well affiliated with if they select him.

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