MIAMI -- Donald J. Lloyd-Jones, formerly a high-ranking American Airlines executive, was named president and chief operating officer of Air Florida Thursday, succeeding C. Edward Acker, who joined Pan American World Airways in September.
Eli Timoner, Air Florida founder and chairman, who had been serving as acting president, noted that Acker's departure had pinpointed the need at the fast-growing airline to separate top management positions.
'It became obvious to me when Ed Acker left, the company needed both a president and a chairman,' Timoner said. Acker had served as chairman.
Lloyd-Jones had been head of the operations department at American Airlines since 1972. He joined the air carrier in 1957 as a senior economic analyst and moved quickly through the ranks.
Lloyd-Jones announced no imminent shakeups or changes. He predicted third quarter profitability for the carrier, which reported a $14 million loss the first quarter of this year. Losses are predicted for the second quarter as well.
Lloyd-Jones said the turnaround later this be a resultZ La ZT/W-,x - 4 -- +WI-,4 .V I the markets. Fare wars began.
'Once the circumstances changed they (Air Florida) were overextended as was everybody in that market,' Lloyd-Jones said.
He said Air Florida 'needs to stop and catch its breath. I think we're at that point now.'
Lloyd-Jones said he 'tends to be the kind of person who pays a lot of attention to details' and recognizes the importance of being an 'on time' airline. 'Some of the schedules within the state of Florida need to be tightened,' he said.
He said he did not expect much route expansion following the demise of Braniff Airlines on May 12. And he denied recent charges that his former employer used a sophisticated computor network and dirty tricks to drive the airline under.
Timoner said Air Florida would 'step back and see who gores whom rather than get involved in it.'
As for Air Florida's somewhat gimmicky reputation, created when it began giving away green stamps on some flights, Lloyd-Jones noted, 'You'll continue to see them (promotional devices) as they continue to make sense. An airline can't be perceived as gimmicky in basic operations. An airline has to do things to draw attention to itself.'
Lloyd-Jones said his first priority would be 'to look at the way things are done. I left American because I saw a better opportunity at Air Florida.'