Ex-Nordica exec becomes Adria Managing Director


Estonian aviation expert and former Nordica Business Development Manager Sven Kukemelk has become the new Managing Director of Adria Airways. Mr Kukemelk served as the Executive Director for Business Development at the Estonian carrier, later becoming CEO of its affiliate Regional Jet. During his tenure, the company received an IOSA certificate, grew its fleet from six to twelve units and established new ACMI contracts with LOT and SAS Scandinavian Airlines. After leaving the Nordica Group, Mr Kukemelk co-founded the aviation consultancy NA Advisory. The Estonian businessman joined Adria six month ago, serving as the airline's Deputy Chief Commercial Officer and was named as CEO of the Adria Airways Flight School just last month. He has also worked at the Estonian Aviation Academy, airBaltic, Estonian Air, Tallinn Airport and Lufthansa Consulting in the past.

Adria will from now on be led by two Managing Directors, Holger Kowarsch and Sven Kukemelk. Holger Kowarsch will continue to lead the Financial and Commercial divisions and the company's support departments, and Sven Kukemelk will be responsible for managing the Operations division, and will continue to lead the Adria’s Flight School. "The owners believe that with the changed leadership, our company will be more successful in addressing all the issues and challenges that are being raised due to the rapid development in the aviation industry, which all European air carriers in particularl are faced with", Adria said.

Sven Kukemelk

Adria Airways assisted in the creation of Nordica following the collapse of Estonian Air. It provided the airline with an Air Operator's Certificate, commercial platform, ticketing system, staff and flight codes. In late 2016, Nordica abruptly ended its cooperation with Adria and forged a new agreement with LOT Polish Airlines. It has never been disclosed how much of a financial incentive Adria received for its partnership with Nordica, which was negotiated by the carrier while it was still in state hands. In its 2015 financial report, the airline's new owners at the time, 4K Invest, hailed the tie-up. Adria is currently wet-leasing a Nordica Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft in order to maintain its schedule without disruption as several of its own jets are undergoing maintenance.




Comments

  1. Good luck to him

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  2. "and established new ACMI contracts with LOT and SAS Scandinavian Airlines"

    So more ACMIs for Adria coming up?

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    Replies
    1. It would be nice if LOT would become Adria's partner, like it did with Nordica.

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    2. What would LOT have to gain from Adria?

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    3. What did they gain with Nordica?

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    4. If they do more ACMIs I don't know how will they keep their existing schedule.

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    5. @Anonymous 9.16
      Nordica provides flight operation services to LOT, which has improved the organisation of regional flights by LOT.

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    6. Does LOT actually own a stake in Nordica or are they just partners like Adria and Nordica used to be?

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    7. Yes they own 49%

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    8. LOT owns 49% of Regional Jet, which is Nordica's daughter company.

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  3. Can he turn the company around?

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    Replies
    1. I think it is at the point of no return, no matter who is running it.

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    2. With smart management they can recover.

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    3. What is the answer to Adria's problems though?

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    4. Administration.

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    5. Re-nationalization.

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    6. Lol yes, state taking over will make the company successful.

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    7. Case has been made to renationalise in Slovenian media yesterday.

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    8. What a stupid idea.

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    9. Slovenacki slajpik u slovenackom dzepu mogu da urade sta god pozele. Ako mogu da prodju propise zasto da ne.

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  4. This is the third new CEO in 3 years.

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    Replies
    1. Arno Schuster, 2016-2018
      Holger Kowarch, 2018-2019
      Sven Kukemelk, 2019-present

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    2. Let's just hope it's not their last the way things are going.

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    3. Well they actually have two CEOs now.

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    4. MD is not the same as CEO

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  5. Why don't they hire a Slovene as head of the company?

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    Replies
    1. What difference does it make?

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    2. Which foreign nationals have we had running national carriers in ex-Yu?

      As fat as I'm aware
      Adria - German, Estonian
      Air Serbia - Australian, UK
      FlyBosnia - Australian

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    3. The Aussies win :D

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  6. Kowarch seemed to be quite inept, just like Hogan with EY.
    Estonians have Nordic mentality so maybe he will do a good job. JP needs to get rid of the Balkan mentality.

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    Replies
    1. It's not easy to stabilize an airline that was in deep troubles.

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    2. as a reminder JP is run by Germans, so no "balkan mentality" here. and yet, they seem to be doing a terrible job with JP
      what is needed is good management and no provincial prejudices

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    3. Bingo last anonymous +1

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  7. "Adria is currently wet-leasing a Nordica Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft in order to maintain its schedule"

    Of course because currently 4 CRJs are inoperative!

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    Replies
    1. On top of two A319s. It’s 2018 all over again.

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    2. Why didn't they do plane maintenance before the busy season starts?

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    3. S5-AAL has no engines on it.

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    4. @9.13 it is not 4 Bombardiers it is 2 Bombardiers and 2 A319s
      AAR, AAX, AFA and AAL are out of action. As @9.22 rightly mentiones, AAL has not engines.

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    5. @ anon 09:18........ cash!

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    6. Are they really running that low on money that they can't service their planes?

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    7. Maybe they didn't have the cash in winter when revenues is low so they are doing it now.

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    8. Carpet in the cabin is expensive, you know...

      Look at all the LCCs in Europe, everybody flying with exposed metal in the cabin.

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    9. -AAL is unlikely to come back to the fleet anytime soon.

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  8. I wish him good luck. I really hope Adria manages to get out of the trouble it is in.

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    Replies
    1. Same. Out of curiosity, does anyone know how old Sven is?

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    2. I also hope Adria makes it to its 60th birthday.

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  9. I read some his analysis online and he talks a lot about low cost airlines and that it is difficult to turn legacy carriers into budget ones. We will see what he does with Adria. Good luck.

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    Replies
    1. Adria is a low cost airlibe with legacy prices.

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    2. I agree t would be very difficult. Not just changing all the business structures but the culture of your workforce would be near impossible without hugely annoying the staff which would reflect badly on the service you're trying to offer.

      Best thing would be to start a new low cost side project/airline where people are employed before hand knowing their conditions and then slowly transfer suitable assets ad routs to the new model. This is what most major airlines are doing.

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    3. "Suitable assets"

      What kind of assets that are free of any debt does Adria even have?

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    4. I mean anything that is more suitable to be operated by a low cost carrier. Leisure and charter routes for example.

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    5. Adria doesn't fly any routes that would require bilateral agreements, so any other airline can start flying as well.

      Their routes are not assets and as far as anything else goes... There's nothing left either.

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  10. "Do regional airlines in Eastern Europe have the right to survive in the European single sky environment?"

    Sven Kukemelk
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3846/16487788.2017.1415226?needAccess=true

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    Replies
    1. He seems to have published a lot of papers related to the aviation industry. I found some online.

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  11. He seems to have done ok with Regional Jet.

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  12. I'm not convinced that management change will bring any real change to the company itself.

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  13. Well one thing is for sure, he is the first Adria CEO appointed by 4K who actually has an aviation background!

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    Replies
    1. True neither Arno or Holger were from the aviation industry.

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    2. It shows....

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  14. I think this is a positive development. An aviation expert has become CEO of the airline.

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    Replies
    1. I hope there is some progress, but he has been at Adria for half a year already.

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    2. The biggest positive development for Adria in recent times has been the collapse of the Sukhoi deal.

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  15. Finally some good news for Adria.

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  16. Isn't it a conflict of interest to be working for an airline and having an airline consultancy firm at the same time?

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    Replies
    1. Not really. Adria's private owners are aware of his business.

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    2. Private companies dictate their own conditions. Normally not an issue and is disclosed prior to signing the contract.

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  17. Mybe Kowarch goes to some Arab airline now. I mean we have Kucko who has become CEO of Gulf Air and Kondic who is CCO at Saudia.

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    Replies
    1. haha possible but Kowarch is not from the aviation industry, unlike the other two guys you mentioned.

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    2. I'm really not worried for him since he is one of the owners of 4k!

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  18. I'm looking forward to see what his strategy for Adria will look like.

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  19. Clear sign that the mgt is struggling. I keep my opinion, there is no market nowadays for an airline like JP.
    Adrias last days are counted

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    Replies
    1. What do you think could be a solution for Adria?

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    2. Bankruptcy.

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  20. Nice to see the Adria Flight school still up and running since it's mentioned in the article. I thought the school was long gone.

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  21. Who was CEO when the genius idea was made to buy Etihad Regional aka Darwin?

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  22. His CV sounds promising. We will see.

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  23. The only credible opinion on Adria comes from people who work either for Fraport (at LJU) or Petrol. So if we have anyone from either company here amongst us, please comment.

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    Replies
    1. Why only from them?

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    2. Wants to know if they are paying their bills.

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    3. @Q400

      They are not - they owe at least 50 million euros to the contractors. So there are two question for the guys in Petrol in LJU:
      - are they considering pulling the plug?
      - and if not, what is the financial exposure of those two companies (or any other contractor) with regards to JP? Meaning, if JP goes under, is there a danger of any of the contractors going under as well.

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  24. The soap continues.

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    Replies
    1. this adria thing will end in tears

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  25. Kakav genije...

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  26. Will there be any changes in strategy?

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    Replies
    1. I doubt it. Looks like there will be even more ACMIs.

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    2. There is only so many planes they can lease.

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    3. Adria is becoming the leader in the ACMI market in Europe. Both in leasing out and leasing in.

      A true legacy carrier.

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  27. With all due respect Kowarsch didn't do a great job. During his time:
    - SCAC deal failure
    - Failed expansion from Ljubljana
    - Failed base in Paderborn
    - Disastrous operations summer 2018
    - Massive loss for 2018

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    Replies
    1. True. Let's hope for some renewed energy with new CEO.

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    2. So much for 4k being turnaround experts.

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    3. He will still be at the airline.

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    4. Sukhoi deal failure counts as a big plus anywhere outside of ex-USSR.

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  28. Maybe Nordica starts flying to Ljubljana now.

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    Replies
    1. Why??? Because this guy used to work at Nordica? By that logic Croatia Airlines should start flying to Bahrain and Air Serbia to Riyadh.

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  29. First company I see with two CEOs

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  30. What are the benefits of such a management structure?

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    Replies
    1. I guess it's easiest to tackle the mess they ate in with two people.

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  31. This is similar to the tactic used by football teams, substitute a player while there's less than 2 mins left to the final whistle, to gain some seconds. Assign the CCO as CEO, while keeping the existing CEO as well. Why? Absolutely to gain some time.

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    Replies
    1. Svejedno uskoro ostaju samo AS i Fly Baznia i Wizz.

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  32. He worked for Lufthansa. Conspiracy theory about LH being behind 4K lives on!

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  33. Cow Arsch and Cookie Milk ...
    With such managers you only can win big time .

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  34. One joke after another. Never run out of Jockers! What about Purger next!?

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  35. Probably Kukemelk could implement Nordica way organizational structure into Adria. Then could partner with airline partner which could also be LOT and merge Adria and Nordica into one company with two brands with Regional Jet as aircraft provider and LOT as a commercial platform for both: Slovene and Estonian operators.
    It could be also gain for LOT as all JP would become LO-coded, so LOT would gain presence in exYu, where they are already growing.
    Besides working with LOT Adria/Nordica could become important CRJ ACMI provider not working for LOT only but also for SAS and a few others. Then they will gain mass which would allow them cut cost thanks to bigger scale of operations. Small scale of operations is the biggest issue for airlines from small market in CEE. They have no chance to survive on their own.

    ReplyDelete

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