ON THE MOVE - PEOPLE INVESTMENTS BRING CHANGES AT QANTAS

ON THE MOVE - PEOPLE INVESTMENTS BRING CHANGES AT QANTAS

As international airlines continue to swap equity to fend off competitors, the actions of a single carrier may be impossible to understand without weighing the influence of its partners.

Northwest Airlines has scheduled regular top level meetings with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Two KLM executives sit on Northwest's 15-member board.If United Airlines and Lufthansa German Airlines strike an agreement, it would place a big chunk of the world's passenger and cargo traffic under their joint authority. United then would have to consider Lufthansa's interests in making decisions that could effect both companies.

When British Airways bought 25 percent of Qantas Airways earlier this year, it gained three seats on the board of directors. This outside influence is bringing new blood to the ranks of Qantas senior management.

James Strong will become managing director of Qantas in October. An attorney, Mr. Strong most was recently group managing director for DB Group in New Zealand and, before that, was chief executive of Australian Airlines, a domestic carrier.

Gary Pemberton, who took over as Qantas chairman earlier this year, will act as managing director in the interim.

Mr. Pemberton was chairman of Brambles, one of Australia's largest ground transportation and logistics companies, and was a director for Australian Airlines from 1987 until 1990. Qantas merged with Australian Airlines in September 1992.

Mr. Strong will replace John Ward, who resigned from Qantas without comment in early July. Mr. Ward was competent and respected, but he also favored investment in Qantas by Singapore Airlines rather than by BA.

Mr. Strong has said he intends to focus on a reorganization of senior management, so more changes may lie ahead. Qantas made a US$30 million profit for the year that ended July 1, 1992. Cargo volume was up 7 percent system- wide during the year.

Northwest Passage

Meanwhile, managers at Northwest Airlines continue their game of musical airline seats. The carrier says much of this current shifting stems from the departure of Joseph B. Leonard, executive vice president for customer service, who accepted a position outside the industry. Mr. Leonard joined Northwest in 1991.

Mickey Foret is now executive vice president and chief financial officer, a promotion from senior vice president for planning and finance. In his new position, Mr. Foret is responsible for the airline's treasury and controller functions, corporate strategic planning, insurance and risk management, purchasing, properties and facilities.

W. Douglas Parker takes over as vice president of financial planning and analysis. He had been managing director of that department and has been with the airline since 1991.

John Kern now is senior vice president of operations, responsible for maintenance and flight operations.

He had been vice president of operations and in his new capacity he will be the airline's chief safety officer, reporting directly to John Dasberg, the president.

Mr. Kern was the Federal Aviation Administration's deputy administrator for regulation and certification for five years before joining Northwest in 1991.

Don Washburn, a senior vice president who assisted in the development of products and services in various departments, now takes on the responsibility for ground operations and in-flight services.

Barry Kotar will be Northwest's senior vice president and general sales manager in charge of airlines sales.

Mr. Kotar has 26 years of industrial sales and distribution experience and spent three years as president and chief executive of Covia, the computer reservation service of United.

During his 20 years with United, he was senior vice president of information systems and vice president of the Apollo reservations services. He now is Northwest's chief information officer.

Christopher Clouser becomes senior vice president of corporate communications, advertising, human resources and quality. He had been senior vice president of corporate communications and advertising.

Tim Griffin becomes senior vice president for market planning and development. Mr. Griffin will oversee the company divisions responsible for area marketing planning, scheduling, pricing and reservations.

Mr. Griffin spent 11 years with Continental, most recently as senior vice president of schedules and pricing.

NEW CHIEF

Thamnoon Wanglee will be the new chief of Thai Airways International beginning Oct. 1. Mr. Thamnoon had been the airline's senior vice president of finance.

Many people will be unhappy to see Chatrachai Bunya-Ananta retire from the presidential post on Sept. 30. Mr. Chatrachai and his professional management team have been well regarded in airline circles for many years.

Mr. Thamnoon is a 24-year veteran of Thai International and a logical successor. He participated directly in much of the airline's planning, privatization efforts, fleet financing and its ongoing relationships with its parent, the Thai Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Mr. Thamnoon will face a formidable challenge to bring the airline back into profitable operation. For several years, the country's military leaders have run the carrier without regard to commercial realities.

After Mr. Chatrachai became president last September, he announced a restructuring but that plan suffered a setback following the death of Pandit Bunyapana, the airline's chairman, on July 8.

Air Chief Marshal Gun Pimarnthip was appointed interim chairman of the airline in August.

DYNAMITE CHOICE

Tom Cox now heads TNT Worldwide Express operations in the Americas. He will oversee the company's U.S., Canadian and Latin American express and mail interests.

Mr. Cox moved from senior vice president of sales and marketing for the express and Mailfast products divisions to chief executive for the Americas on July 1. He replaced John Ovens who resigned.

Rick Renner becomes TNT's senior vice president of express products for the United States and will sell these international products to U.S. customers. Mr. Renner had been the company's Eastern regional manager.

Joseph Morone is now TNT's senior vice president of finance and administration for the United States. He had been TNT's vice president of the Northeast region.

Julie Frizalone becomes vice president of TNT's Mailfast products for the United States. She replaces Bill Kain, who now is in charge of implementing the company's $56 million global computer network.

OH, CANADA

David Taylor becomes the new president and chief operating officer of Air Ontario, a regional airline based in London, Ontario. He succeeds Thomas Syme, who resigned last January.

Mr. Taylor will leave his position as managing director of Air Canada's cargo operations. He moved into that job, vacated last summer by Geoff Bridges, after he successfully managed a variety of postings during 30 years with Air Canada.

Mr. Taylor can anticipate new ventures at Air Ontario. The airline's fleet and scope are much smaller than Air Canada's. Air Ontario is considered to be among the better managed of Canada's five regional airlines.

It operates 22 de Havilland Dash-8 aircraft, mostly in the eastern and central provinces. It carries about 1 million passengers annually and stops at U.S. airports in Cleveland, Baltimore-Washington and Newark, N.J.

Bob Thompson will replace Mr. Taylor as head of Air Canada's cargo division. Mr. Thompson is a marketing executive who was a former administrative aid to Hollis Harris, Air Canada's chairman and president.

GO FRITZ, GO SINGAPORE

Albert Goh is the new general manager of Fritz Airfreight Singapore. Mr. Goh founded Masters Airfreight Pte., which was purchased in July by Fritz Cos. of San Francisco.

MORE FROM PRATT

Robert A. Wolfe takes over the new position of senior vice president for the Americas for Pratt & Whitney. Mr. Wolfe will help develop the region for the Hartford, Conn., engine manufacturer.

To do this he will encourage new partnerships, offset agreements, international joint ventures and will further develop the company's international sources.