Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

9 January 2013

Cameroon: Matthijs Johannes Boertien - the Man and His Experience

The Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co) yesterday January 8 received a wave of new determination in the person of Matthijs Johannes Boertien, who hails from Netherlands. He replaces his fellow countryman Alex Van Elk, whose contract with the corporation expired in March 2012.

Appointed by Presidential decree n°2013/001 of January 2013 to head the national airline company, the new General Manger commissioned into his function yesterday in Douala by Transport Minister Robert Nkili, is a man with a wealth of expertise.

Sixty-year-old Matthijs has several years of aviation experience working as a professional. He started his career in aviation in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Thereafter, he obtained civil licenses and ATPL (type rated A320 and 767 as captain and TRI). He flew as first officer and later as captain on various types of aircrafts. In the later 20 years of his career, he has mainly focused on aviation management and maintains an extensive network in the aviation industry.

Between 1985 and 2004, he worked as Senior VP Operations at Martinair Holland but later in 2004 he joined Demin Air Group where he worked until 2007. With the aid of a friend, the idea was developed to found a new high quality ACMI airline and he worked as founder and Chief Executive Officer of Amsterdam Airlines from 200 to 2008. Matthijs has also garnered expertise working as strategy consultant, aircraft finance and trading, then with the Cameroon Airlines Corporation as Chief Operating Officer from November 2010 to March 2012.

Matthijs plans to work hand in hand with the Board of Directors towards a brighter future for the corporation, ensure strict respect in flight time, as well as work towards profitability of the corporation - this in compliance with its defined objectives and the guidelines of the Board of Directors.

Although his action will be strongly determined by how much he sustains the vision of Camair-Co, to make it an airline of choice for Cameroonians and international travelers, by offering safety, reliability and connectivity, he also has to be more rigid in containing pressure from those who may want to take Camair-Co's aircrafts for a personal heritage. Quality services are also a necessity and the public is also looking forward to competitive pricing and a sustained profitability.

To many, Matthijs is a square peg in a square hole, having worked as Chief Operating officer for Camair-Co from where he was appointed to head the corporation.

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