Former Jetstar Pacific head named managing director of Air Mekong

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Luong Hoai Nam, the former CEO of budget carrier Jetstar Pacific, has been appointed the managing director of Vietnamese private carrier Air Mekong, the online newspaper VnExpress reported.

Nam, 49, who took office Wednesday, declined to comment to VnExpress on his new post.

In early November 2010, Nam was cleared of criminal responsibility after a nine month investigation into allegations of gross mismanagement at Jetstar Pacific.

The Ministry of Public Security also terminated their investigation.

According investigators, Nam and his Australian subordinates Tristan Freeman and Daniela Marsilli were accused for causing Jetstar Pacific's US$31.2 million loss related to fuel hedging activities between July 2008 and May 2009.

Nam, who was taken into police custody on January 7, 2010, was the only person to be arrested in the case.

Investigators then announced Nam was not to blame for the loss as the decision to approve a fuel hedging order was made by the two Australian subordinates while Nam was away on business.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the former COO and CFO respectively of Australian flag carrier Qantas Airways' Vietnam brand Jetstar Pacific, Marsilli and Freeman, flew back to Sydney in July 2010.

They were previously barred from leaving Vietnam while authorities investigated the loss by Jetstar Pacific in which Qantas has a 27-percent stake.

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Qantas said in a statement that the executives were allowed to leave after the investigation was "terminated." It said no money changed hands to secure their release and it remains committed to its investment in the Vietnamese airline.

Nam joined the low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific in 2004 after working at national carrier Vietnam Airlines for 11 years.

Vietnam's private carrier Air Mekong joined the airline market on October 10, 2010.

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