(Yicai Global) Nov. 26 -- Tan Wangeng, former general manager of China's biggest air carrier China Southern Airlines, has left the state-owned company to join the country's largest plane builder, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China.
COMAC held a party committee meeting today to announce Tan's appointment as deputy party boss, an unidentified source at the firm told Yicai Global. The change has not yet been announced but will likely see Tan, 54, take on a high-level role. COMAC's lowest-level deputy party bosses are deputy general managers, according to its website.
It is unclear who will take over Tan's role at China Southern, but the move could see a string of personnel changes in the civil aviation sector.
Tan will help COMAC better understand its customers' perspectives, as none of the firm's current senior executive shave experience in managing airlines, several anonymous industry sources told Yicai Global.
With him at the helm, China Southern doubled the size of its fleet to from 2009 to 2017, when it had 754 aircraft. Net profit also grew more than 10-fold to CNY6.8 billion (USD985 million) last year from CNY554 million (USD80 million) eight years earlier.
COMAC is already delivering its ARJ21 regional airliner and has begun test flights for its 190-seater C919 passenger jet. The firm is also designing a wide-body craft, the CR929, in partnership with Russia.
Editor: James Boynton