Addis Ababa, –The Rwandese government has appointed former CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Girma Wake, as advisor to the Rwandese Ministry of Transport on aviation matters and also as board chairman of the RwandAir as of February 1.
Girma told The Reporter that he accepted the appointments as he wants to serve an African airline that could work in cooperation with Ethiopian Airlines in various areas. “I am honoured by the appointments the Rwandese government bestowed on me. I will try to serve both the Rwandese Ministry of Transport and the RwandAir with maximum dedication. I will also work on the areas that RwandAir could work with Ethiopian Airlines,” he told The Reporter. “I am glad to serve another African carrier.”
Established in 2002, the Rwandese national flag carrier, RwandAir, is one of the fast growing airlines in the region. Rwanda Air announced the appointment of Girma, as the new chairman of its new board of directors on January 24. The airline said in a statement the move is in line with its expansion plans as the new board steers it forward in its expansion ambitions
Girma, 68, has over 42 years of airline management experience in various capacities at the head, regional and area offices of three organizations. At Ethiopian, he worked in various managerial positions including manager space control, area manager Ghana, Tanzania and Germany, Director marketing operations and director cargo marketing, the position he held before joining Gulf Air in 1993.
Girma was a member of a senior management team of Gulf Air responsible for cargo management. He briefly left Gulf Air to take a position with DHL as regional general freight manger from 1996 to 1998.
He then rejoined Ethiopian as CEO in February 2004. Girma successfully led the most ambitious growth period in the company’s history, most notably the implementation of Vision 2010, which saw Ethiopian ranked as the 16th most profitable airline in the world.
Wake was president of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in 2009-2010. After four decades of service with Ethiopian, he retired in January 2011 after nominating Tewolde Gebremariam, the current CEO of Ethiopian, as his successor. Wake is married and a father of five and has six grandchildren. Girma is a board member of the Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel and the United Insurance S.C.
Girma received the Medal of Glory Award from the Foundation for Democracy in Africa in 2011, the highest honor awarded annually to exemplary leaders for their extraordinary contributions to economic, social, cultural and agricultural development and democracy in Africa. AFRAA awarded Girma a life time achievement award last November at the association’s 43rd annual general assembly in Marrakech, Morocco. He also won the Face of Aviation award 2011 annually awarded by the Airline Economics, the international aviation magazine, to exemplary airline CEOs.