Dzuleira Abu Bakar headed to aviation industry as CEO of regional airline SKS Airways, starts on 15 Sept

  • Described by SKS as transformative, purpose-driven leader with excellent track record
  • SKS leasing 10 Embraer E195-E2 single-aisle jets with operations from Subang Airport

Dzuleira Abu Bakar headed to aviation industry as CEO of regional airline SKS Airways, starts on 15 Sept

SKS Airways announces the appointment of Dzuleira Abu Bakar as CEO following an extensive search process. Dzuleira will take over from the current acting CEO & Executive Director, Rohman Ahmad effective 15 September 2023. Rohman will continue to be on the Board of SKS Airways as Executive Director.

Dzuleira is a visionary leader with more than 20 years of excellent track record in venture capital, entrepreneurship, investments, and the technology industry. She is currently serving out her notice of resignation as CEO of the Malaysian Research Accelerator for Technology and Innovation (MRANTI).

In a statement by the SKS Board, “We are delighted to welcome Dzuleira as our new CEO. Dzuleira is a transformative, purpose-driven leader who has an excellent track record in the technology and innovation industry. She has exceptional strategic and organizational capabilities and proven operational effectiveness. We look forward to Dzuleira accelerating the full potential and growth of SKS Airways as a leading regional carrier that delivers long-term growth and value for all our shareholders,” said Rohman Ahmad.

Dzuleira Abu Bakar headed to aviation industry as CEO of regional airline SKS Airways, starts on 15 Sept“I am delighted to have been appointed the CEO of SKS Airways. It is an interesting time to be in the aviation industry and I’m excited by the vision the shareholders have for SKS Airways. SKS Airways is ripe with potential and I'm looking forward to leading the airline,” said Dzuleira (pic) whose decision to leave her role at MRANTI, despite her contract being renewed recently greatly surprised Malaysia's tech ecosystem. In a subsequent interview with DNA, Dzulaira, who has served in various public agencies for 11 years, said two factors played a role in her decision.

The first was her long tenure in public service had her thinking about what she should do next in her professional and career development. 

"I think one can create meaningful and national impact in a private sector role as well," she said in response to why she would want to leave a key position as MRANTI CEO where she can help drive the nation's innovation aspirations. 

The second reason was that her two and a half years in the MRANTI role had given her and her team time to put in a solid foundation for MRANTI's Masterplan to be executed where she described her first 12 months on the job as Year Zero. "There were so many internal issues to sort out ranging from legal to administrative to talent, that I was fully internally focused for the first 12 months. The second year was really our Year 1 where we engaged the external ecosystem and came up with the MRANTI Park Masterplan," she explained. 

Read Also: In a shock announcement MRANTI CEO Dzuleira Abu Bakar resigns


SKS all geared up for its regional expansion

Last month at the 16th Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition, SKS Airways forged strategic partnerships with industry leaders, Brazil's Embraer Asia Pacific and global aircraft lessor, Azorra Aviation Holdings to lease ten Embraer E195-E2 single-aisle jets from Azorra on a long-term Services Agreement without the details being disclosed.

In a May 25th release on its website, SKS stated that based on the list price of each plane, the 10 jets are worth more than US$840 million (RM3.9 billion), though this is not indicative of the cost of the lease that SKS will pay for the lease. SKS also becomes the aircraft type's first operator in Southeast Asia.

With this new fleet along with the arrival of the first two Embraer E195-E2 jets in January 2024, SKS Airways will be the first regional airline operating out of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (Subang Airport).

SKS' Services Agreement with Embraer includes a pool of more than 300 repairable parts for Embraer aircraft, plus eSolutions technology to enhance fleet monitoring and preventative maintenance.

The programme, which supports more than 50 carriers worldwide, allows airlines to minimize their investment in high-value repairable parts while maintaining access to Embraer's technical expertise and extensive component repair network. The airline will also benefit from AHEAD (Aircraft Health Analysis and Diagnosis), which comprises early detection capabilities for critical systems, reducing technical disruptions and avoiding cancelations.

It also includes eSight real-time fleet performance monitoring and ePerf, a tablet application for pilots to generate runway performance data offline.


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