Captain Albon takes AMI helm

‪AMI officials, including incoming GM Captain Albon Jelke, third from right, and outgoing GM Drauna Waqasokolala, second from left, met with new Kwajalein Commander Col. Thomas Pugsley last week.‬

Air Marshall Islands board of directors has named a new general manager to replace outgoing GM Drauna Waqasokolala, who advised the airline earlier this year of his plan to step down from the post after six years at the helm.

The new AMI General Manager is Captain Albon Jelke, who is “new” only to the GM position, but knows AMI better than perhaps anyone having worked with the company for 40 years.

Jelke’s career with AMI started in 1981 as a flight attendant. Then he trained as a pilot and became the First Officer on the HS-748 in 1987. Three years later, he was promoted to Captain of the HS-748, a position he held until he became First Officer on the DC-8 jet aircraft that AMI began flying in 1991. He was promoted in June of 1995 to a position of Captain on the Saab-2000 aircraft, and in September 1997, became Director of Flight Operations and Chief Pilot, titles he has held since.

Captain Jelke currently holds an Airline Transport Plane (ATP) License, the highest level of aircraft pilot certificate, which he earned in 1989.

Former AMI GM Waqasokolala, who submitted his resignation to the AMI board in April, will remain at AMI in a different capacity while he awaits Fiji’s borders to reopen.

In a memo to former GM Waqasokolala, AMI extended its appreciation to the former GM for his outstanding leadership and management skills during his tenure at AMI.

In related news, earlier this month AMI’s board and management met with USAG-KA Commander Col. Thomas Pugsley. The group discussed priority issues facing AMI at USAG-KA, and how AMI can improve on its services to its customers.

Some of these issues include the need for a larger operating space at the USAG-KA airport to accommodate arriving and departing passengers; implementing extra security measures for missing cargo; improving ground transportation services; as well as responding to the increasing volume of passengers traveling between Majuro and Kwajalein.

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