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Airports Company South Africa appoints first woman to lead the biggest airport in Africa

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Airports Company South Africa has announced the appointment of Bongiwe Pityi as the new General Manager of O.R. Tambo International Airport, the biggest and busiest airport in Africa, with effect from 1 September 2014.

O.R. Tambo International, Airports Company South Africa’s flagship airport, will be headed up by a woman for the first time when Bongiwe Pityi assumes her new role. An admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, Pityi has a 14-year track record in the aviation industry, having fulfilled several management roles for Airports Company South Africa, both locally and abroad.

Pityi was the first Manager to be entrusted with the management of Airports Company South Africa’s parking business in November 2001, based at the then Johannesburg International Airport. In 2005, she was appointed Assistant General Manager: Durban International Airport before leading and managing the operational transition of the old airport to the new King Shaka International Airport. This was followed by her appointment as Assistant General Manager: King Shaka International Airport in 2010.

Her most recent position, from 2012 until the middle of this year, was Deputy Director: Operational Readiness Planning at Guarulhos International Airport, in São Paulo, Brazil, in which Airports Company South Africa has a stake. She played a critical role in improving the airport’s capability and ensuring its readiness to handle an influx of aircraft and passengers in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil in July. Ms Pityi is the 2013 SA’s Most Influential Woman in Business/Government in the SOE category.

Chief Executive Officer of Airports Company South Africa, Bongani Maseko said, “Ms Pityi is ideally suited to operate our flagship O.R. Tambo International Airport as she has extensive aviation experience. She has proven her abilities in South Africa and Brazil and I am certain that she will do an excellent job of managing Africa’s busiest airport.”

Pityi said of her appointment, “I am very excited, but also humbled by the fact that I have been appointed to lead Africa’s premier airport. I have no doubt about the challenging task ahead, and am equally confident that during my two-year stint in Brazil I learnt lessons that will enhance my ability to add value. I do feel privileged that I will be supported by a strong and effective management team.”

She joins the airport at a time when focus is geared towards improving service levels, and heightening operational excellence.

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