Peter Bellew Exits Malaysia Airlines, Returning to Ryanair

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Despite Bellew’s recent denials that he was on the verge of leaving Malaysia Airlines Bhd to return to his former employer, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair announced that he is rejoining them as COO. 

Just over a year after taking charge of Malaysia Airlines, chief executive Peter Bellew will be leaving to rejoin Ryanair as chief operations officer, the Irish airline said in a statement.

Bellew’s return to the no-frills airline comes after Michael Hickey stood down recently following controversy over Ryanair’s plans to cancel flights up to next March, The Irish Times reported.

The cancellations came after errors in the company’s pilot rostering practices.

The statement said that Bellew will be back on board on Dec 1. He will take responsibility for flight operations, ground operations and engineering, “but with a specific responsibility for pilot production, training and career development with a mission to ensure that the pilot rostering failure which Ryanair suffered in early September will never be repeated”.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that Malaysia Airlines said it had taken note of Ryanair’s “unexpected announcement” and that its board of directors would meet and make an announcement in due course on the matter.

Commenting on his appointment, Bellew was quoted saying: “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 was director of flight operations before he left Ryanair in 2014. He joined Malaysia Airlines as chief operations officer in September 2015 and took over as chief executive in July last year.

Before joining Malaysia Airlines, Bellew worked as flight operations director at Ryanair until 2014.