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Solomon Airlines announces appointment of new Chief Executive Officer

Posted on March 14, 2024 at 05:00 PM in General News

Solomon Airlines Chairman Mr Frank Wickham today announced the appointment of Mr Sean Te’o as the new Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Airlines.

Mr Te’o commences in the role effective from today 14 March, 2024 and will undertake his first public engagement next week, representing the national carrier at the 2024 Regional Airlines Association Convention in Queensland, Australia. 

Mr Napoleon Padabela Solomon Airlines CEO (Acting) welcomed Mr Te’o describing the changeover as a smooth handover to an experienced colleague.

“Sean Te’o has been a welcome member of our team since October 2022 helping us complete major projects crucial to the airline, including the renewal of Solomon Airlines Air Operator Certificate, completion of the IOSA audit and project management and induction of our second international aircraft Airbus A320 H4-SAL,” Mr Padabela said.

“With his now considerable experience across our operation, understanding of our forward strategy and strong networking and stakeholder engagement, it will be a smooth transition as he takes up his new responsibilities,” he added. 

Mr Wickham also pointed out there are significant challenges ahead for the national carrier and that the Board is confident Mr Te’o will lead the Management team and staff to progress the company’s plans and strategies.

Solomon Airlines Chairman Mr Frank Wickham welcomed Mr Te’o, noting his considerable aviation expertise.

“We are delighted to confirm Sean Te’o as our next CEO and are fortunate to have secured a very suitable and well established candidate with a broad aviation career spanning Asia, Pacific, Europe and the USA,” Mr Wickham said.

“During his past 1.5 years working alongside our EXCO team, we have witnessed first hand, his energetic approach to execution of major projects from the successful delivery of domestic and widebody international aircraft types, to completion of crucial safety and compliance projects, to finding solutions to operational challenges specific to our part of the world,” he said.

Mr Wickham also thanked Mr Napoleon Padabela for stepping in to act as CEO for the past eight months. 
Mr Padabela, Solomon Airlines longest serving employee, now returns to his former position as Manager Ground Operations.

“We are indebted to Napoleon for his steady hand, commitment and significant contribution as our transitional CEO and thank him sincerely for his ongoing dedication to Solomon Airlines,” Mr Wickham said.

Mr Te’o’s career has included aviation leadership roles in airline operations, regulatory and commercial environments. He was Managing Director and a Board Member of Asia Atlantic Airlines, Thailand/Japan and Chief Operating Officer for Business Air, Thailand.

Previously he has worked in the PNG aviation sector, was Director of Civil Aviation Authority for the Kingdom of Tonga, and Deputy Manager of Flight Operations for Real Tonga. Mr Te’o is also a Lead Aviation Auditor and an airline pilot for large and small aircraft including Boeing 767, Saab340, DC-3, Embraer-110, Y12-E, BN2. 

Outside of aviation, Mr Te’o, his wife and family enjoy operating small and medium size family enterprises, and participation in community and church programs.

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