Air Transport World

AACO looks to restructuring as it approaches 20th anniversary. (Arab Air Carriers Organization)

AACO looks to restructuring as it approaches 20th anniversary

Changes are ahead for the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO), which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. At the 19th Annual General Meeting in Casablanca this spring the membership decided that there should be a full-time Secretary General, a position that has been filled heretofore on a part-time basis by Salim Salaam, chairman and president of Middle East Airlines. The job has been offered to Salim Salaam, who was the main founder of AACO and has been its guiding sprit since its foundation. His decision whether or not to accept will be made before November after he has discussed his future with the MEA board. In case he does not accept, a five-member AACO committee composed of the Chairmen of Alia, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Sudan Airways and Yemenia is drawing up a list of alternate candidates. The new secretary general will be given a three-year contract.

In the AACO hierarchy the position of secretary general can be likened to that of chief executive. The full-time director general is in charge of the secretariat; the present incumbent, Amer Sharif, had the title of assistant secretary general (a full-time job) until the position of DG was created a few years ago.

Amer Sharif and his staff of ten will shortly move from the offices of Middle East Airlines to independent 6,500-sq.-ft duplex premises AACO has purchased in a banking district of Beirut. Despite the occasional difficulties in operating from the Lebanese capital under present circumstances there, this purchase shows that AACO has no intention of transferring its headquarters to another country. …

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