The 44-year-old was in the aviation industry as a general manager at Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) from January 2002 to May 2006. PMB is involved in the acquisition, sale and lease of aircraft and aircraft engines. NSTP file pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Speculation has begun on the possible front-runners to helm Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB) following the planned departure of its current chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Bellew.

Mass Rapid Transit Corp (MRT Corp) chief executive officer Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar, with his experience in the transport industry, is said to be among the top contenders for the post.

This is not the first time he has been tipped for the job. His name was also mentioned as a possible replacement when Christoph Mueller announced his resignation in April last year.

Shahril was group managing director of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd from 2010 until 2014 before moving on to MRT Corp in January last year.

The 44-year-old was in the aviation industry as a general manager at Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd (PMB) from January 2002 to May 2006. PMB is involved in the acquisition, sale and lease of aircraft and aircraft engines.

Prior to that, Shahril was chief operating officer of the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) from January 2010 until October 2010.

He was also seconded as an adviser to the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department where he was involved in drafting the SPAD Act 2010 and the Land Public Transportation Act 2010.

Shahril currently sits on the Board of Prasarana and MyHSR (High Speed Rail) Corp, both wholly-owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated Malaysia.

Another possible candidate is MAB's current chief financial officer Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid, who has held the post since 2016.

He was previously an executive director in the Investments Division of Khazanah Nasional Bhd. He is also a director of Malaysia Aviation Group Bhd.

Prior to that he was a managing director in the Investment Banking Division at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd, serving in the firm until 2015.

Omar Saddiq had also previously served with PricewaterhouseCoopers where his last position in 2005 was as an executive director in its Corporate Finance Division, having joined the firm in London in 1996 before moving to Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

He has been involved in a number of corporate exercises, having advised companies across several sectors on corporate restructuring, capital management and strategy as well as on local and international fund-raising initiatives.

Earlier today, Ryanair announced that Bellew will re-join the airline as chief operations officer beginning December 1.

Bellew will take over responsibility for all Ryanair’s flight operations, ground operations and engineering, Ryanair said in a statement.

Bellew previously worked in Ryanair until 2014, where his last post was Director of Flight Operations.

9,456 reads