Singapore Airlines is pleased to announce the appointment of Mohamed Rafi Mar (pictured below) as General Manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland. Mar replaces Sheldon Hee, who has been posted back to head office in Singapore, having held the role since April 2016.
Mar will be based at the Singapore Airlines London office in Chiswick and brings with him an array of experience from the aviation and travel industry. He arrives from Singapore where, most recently, he held the posts of VP of cargo sales and marketing and VP of commercial at SilkAir, during which time the integration of regional subsidiary SilkAir into Singapore Airlines – which is currently being implemented – was being planned.
In his 27-year career to date with Singapore Airlines, Mar has held positions in a variety of disciplines across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, including VP for southwest USA and general manager for Germany. Mar’s new position sees him assume strategic leadership across all operations within the UK and Ireland.
Responsibilities include overseeing all sales, marketing, PR, finance, reservations & ticketing and HR activities, plus the airline’s airport operations at both London Heathrow and Manchester. The UK team comprises around 100 employees, of which 12 report directly to the general manager, while Mar will himself report to the regional vice-president for Europe, Sek Eng Lee.
There are a number of immediate tasks that will be keeping Mar busy in his new role, not least the ramifications of the global pandemic. Singapore Airlines’ London Heathrow-Singapore passenger and cargo flights have continued throughout, but planning for careful expansion of these services continues.
Likewise, planning is ongoing for the eventual relaunch of Manchester services, while this year also sees reasons to celebrate, with the 50th anniversary of flights between London and Singapore coming up in June.
Commenting on the appointment, Mar said: “I am excited to be assuming the role of general Manager UK & Ireland and to be leading the Singapore Airlines team here. Obviously, it is a strange and difficult time for everyone and our industry is certainly no exception in having many challenges to face and overcome.”
He continued: “With adversity also comes opportunity, however and already Singapore Airlines has been contributing to the industry’s innovation, just last month being the first airline in the world to trial the new IATA Travel Pass on flights between Singapore and London. I look forward to continuing to champion the UK as a prominent destination within the expansive Singapore Airlines network and to ensuring we contribute strongly to the UK and its renowned aviation sector as a whole.”
In March, Singapore Airlines announced that customers departing from the UK would be able to book their pre-departure Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test via a dedicated online booking portal operated by Collinson, a global leader in the provision of traveller experiences, including medical assistance.