Posted on: 14 July 2010 by Ross McSweeny
Pål Bjørdal will succeed Bjørn-Taale Sandberg as chief executive of airborne connectivity provider AeroMobile. Currently CEO of another Telenor subsidiary, Maritime Communications Partner (MCP), Bjørdal is due to join AeroMobile on 1 September, formally taking on his role from 1 October after shadowing Sandberg for his first month.
"Bjorn-Taale leaves at a high point as demonstrated by the recently announced major customer wins," says AeroMobile chairman Ragnar Korsaeth. "The in-service Emirates and Malaysia Airlines programmes also continue to be a reference point for the industry.
“Pål is joining at probably the most exciting time in AeroMobile’s history. He is able to build on a solid platform of existing customers at a time when we are beginning to achieve real scale with the business. Our service is increasingly being recognised as a must-have by major airlines throughout the world.”
Sandberg, who has been CEO of AeroMobile since early 2007, will return to Telenor. “After three and a half years with AeroMobile this is a natural move for me," he says. "In this time and through my team’s hard work and dedication, we have seen many world firsts and are now defining the market. We are undisputedly best placed to take pole position in the in-flight cellular sector.
“The announcement of our recent customer commitments, with Panasonic Avionics, including Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic have made me very proud and I know I’m able to pass on to Pål a company in great shape.”
Bjørdal says he looks forward to "building on the tremendous achievements of the team in recent months. Having worked with cellular telecoms on land and at sea, I look forward to delivering on the international airline commitments AeroMobile now have”
AeroMobile’s service is currently available on nearly 80 aircraft operated by Emirates and Malaysian Airlines. Additional commitments cover more than 400 further announced aircraft spanning Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, V Australia and Virgin Atlantic.
Bjørdal has been with Telenor since 1999, initially as chief operating officer – strategy and projects, Telenor Norkring. He became CEO of Telenor MCP, which provides international cellular services to the maritime sector, in 2007.