OnAir’s new CEO

Ian Dawkins (left), former senior vice president, head of future programmes at Airbus, has replaced Beoit Debains as chief executive officer at SITA/Airbus on-board connectivity joint venture OnAir. Debains is rejoining Airbus in Toulouse after three and a half years in the post.

"OnAir is delighted to welcome Ian Dawkins on board as CEO," says chairman Francesco Violante. "Given his impressive track record of successful business growth at Airbus, along with his vision for the potential of the industry in defining a leadership position for OnAir’s passenger communications services, Ian will shape the company towards a global expansion. And most importantly for anyone who is taking on a CEO role, Ian has already proven that he has exceptional leadership ability."

Geneva-based OnAir says its board has tasked Dawkins, 52, with furthering OnAir’s profitable pace of growth, including its global reach onboard connectivity solutions and internet services, to increase market share, profitability, customer loyalty and satisfaction. The result should be what it terms an economically viable business model for the transport industry.

Dawkins started his career with commercial system controls and then moved into aircraft control and landing systems with Fairy Hydraulics as head of programme management. He joined Airbus UK in 1989, managing site closures and reorganisations within the procurement and engineering divisions. In 1997 he became the programme director for the wide body programme at BAE Systems, helping extend the life of the programme by developing a freighter version of the model.

In 2001 Dawkins was appointed vice president programme operation and management for the Airbus A320 family in Toulouse and subsequently in Hamburg, where he has led the most significant increase in the history of the programme by raising deliveries from 223 in 2004 to 460 in 2007. In January 2006 he became head of future programmes in charge of preparing the next generation of products.

His predecessor, Debains, "has made a significant contribution to the growth of OnAir in various segments which has helped to drive critical transformational developments of the business on which we can build a solid future," adds Violante. "We thank him for his great commitment and wish him success in his future endeavours."

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