The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Martin Craigs as its new CEO, effective October 31, 2011.
Craigs is currently elected President of Aerospace Forum Asia (AFA) and Managing Partner at Hillcrest International Advisory. For the last 25 years, Craigs, 55, a UK and Irish passport holder, has been mostly based in Hong Kong. An aviation industry specialist, Craigs has held important and senior positions at companies such as Short Brothers and Saab Scania Group, rising to become Executive Vice President of BAE Systems.
As an airline industry marketer and advocate, he has undertaken projects and worked in Europe, USA, Latin America and the Middle East over the last 25 years.
Since 1986, due to his experience, advocacy skills and network of contacts, Craigs has retained leadership of the pan-Asian non-profit advocacy group AFA. AFA’s current members include Airbus, Boeing and Cathay Pacific.
PATA Interim CEO, Bill Calderwood said: “Martin understands the travel industry and with his long AFA experience he understands associations and the importance of membership.”
Calderwood added: “Martin also brings visionary leadership, outstanding public speaking skills, strong inter-cultural diplomacy and advocacy expertise to the helm at PATA. He is the right person to lead PATA as the association commits to an exciting future of building business and advocacy on behalf of our members."
PATA Chairman, Mr Hiran Cooray, said: “With his extensive top level networking contacts and inter-personal talents, Martin, as the new CEO, can be relied on to win hearts and minds externally and internally.”
Over the last few years, Craigs has been asked to lobby for or advise diverse organisations such as Air Asia, the Hong Kong SAR Government, Reed Elsiver, The Economist, IATA and Pacific Basin Economic Council. He has been a guest of IATA at the last 10 AGM/World Transport Summits. He has attended APEC summits in Asia and Latin America.Commenting on his new appointment, Craigs said: “I applaud the new commitment of PATA to business building and external advocacy. I salute PATA’s pledge to add insights and meaningful value in an increasingly commoditised mass travel and tourist market. The PATA CEO post is a leadership challenge that appeals to me and draws deeply on the assignments and responsibilities that I currently undertake.”