A 'Tired' Biran Quits Israir

Israir CEO Sabina Biran has resigned, and will be replaced by Israel Ben Haim, the former managing director of Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Biran, who held the position for six years, told TheMarker yesterday that she made the decision because she is tired and needs a rest.

Biran denied that her resignation is connected to the near-accident involving an Israir plane at Kennedy Airport in New York, which was revealed by Channel 2. She said her departure was planned and coordinated with the group's owners.

"I got through the New York plane affair, which I would rather had not happened, but we came through it with flying colors," she said. "New York has the connotation for me of getting regular flights, after a tough struggle. After these achievements I deserve a rest. As far as I'm concerned, this is a planned move. I didn't surprise the owners. They were amazing years, full of challenges. What else could I ask for?"

Nochi Dankner, the chairman of IDB, which owns Israir, told TheMarker: "Sabina is a highly respected professional manager. We have been working with her in close cooperation for over six years. She is leaving Israir following her request to be transferred to other managerial positions. She is being appointed to the board of directors of SuperSol and other IDB companies. In future, she is expected to manage one of the IDB group companies."

TheMarker has learned that Biran is a candidate for a directorship at Netvision.

The merger between Israir and Natour will be completed next month, leading to the establishment of two divisions flights, to be headed by Ben Haim, and tourism, to be headed by Zohar Endelman.

Ben Haim is hardly a new face in the civil aviation sector. He served as managing director of Ben Gurion Airport between 1996 and 2001. He resigned following an internal power struggle after it became clear to him that he would not be appointed director general of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Before that, he served two years as deputy operations manager of the CAA, where he was responsible for air traffic control and flight safety.

Ben Haim was a pilot for the Israel Air Force, from which he retired at the rank of colonel.