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Executive Team

Peter Todd

Starlite Aviation Group, Chairman

Peter Todd is Chairman of Starlite Aviation Group. He was appointed Head of the Board of Directors based in Ireland, in 2008. He has been an advisor to Starlite Aviation Group since 1999.

Peter was born in South Africa and graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law degree, and a Higher Diploma in Tax Law. He went on to specialise in income tax and held the position of Senior Tax Manager with Arthur Andersen in Johannesburg, South Africa before setting up his own tax practice.

In 2001, Peter emigrated to London, UK. He served on the Board of Directors of numerous companies listed on the JSE and in London.

In 1999 he began his association with Starlite Aviation Group and founded Osiris International Trustees Ltd. He has since become a Director of Osiris Advisors Ltd, a UK based company.

Furthermore, he held the position of Director of Redefine International Plc as well as Delta International Property Holdings Ltd.

Peter has a passion for aviation and holds a Private Pilot licence.

Peter’s involvement with Starlite combines finance with aviation, leading to a very rewarding and challenging relationship.



Office: +230 650 4032 | Fax: +230 650 4031 | Mobile: +230 549 0780 4

Slade C. Thomas

Starlite Aviation Group, Group CEO

Slade Thomas, co-founder of Starlite Aviation Group, holds the position of CEO of the Group and serves on both the Irish and South African, Board of Directors. He is responsible for the growth of Operational Contracts, new initiatives and fleet renewal.

Slade qualified as a helicopter pilot from the South African Air Force in 1985, achieving first position overall. During his 12 years of service in the SAAF, he studied Special Training, Management Development and Accident Investigation through the University of Southern California, and Crew Management Training through South African Airways. He went on to complete his studies in Command Preparation, Air Crew Management and Special Night Operations. Slade achieved the rank of Major in the SAAF.

Slade served 3 years as Puma Fleet Flight Commander at 15 Squadron, managing 11 Puma helicopters, 22 pilots and 11 flight engineers. He was responsible for the Operational readiness of all aircraft and personnel, the serviceability of the aircraft and the well-being of all crew.

In 1991, Slade was awarded the Air Force Cross medal, for his role as Captain of one of the Puma helicopters, for the multi-helicopter rescue of 600 passengers and crew from the stricken vessel the “Oceanos”. Classed as one of the most successful sea rescues of all time, the 6 aircraft ferried passengers and crew to safety in extremely hazardous conditions of enormous swells and gale force winds. Not a single life was lost in the operation.

In 1994, Slade joined a local Durban helicopter company, building the business into a profitable concern. He went on to become General Manager and Shareholder at NAC. Slade grew NAC Helicopters Unlimited into a business of considerable repute, increasing the fleet to 36, carrying out offshore ship servicing, training, charter and fire-fighting contracts. The business included a highly successful sales and maintenance division. In July 2003, Slade assumed control of the Company in its entirety establishing Starlite Aviation Group, with its Head Office in Durban, and Maintenance and Operational base in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 2008, Starlite Aviation Group relocated its Head Office to Dublin, Ireland.

Slade continues to fly and instruct on the Company’s aircraft. He has flown in numerous countries, including Afghanistan, Indonesia, the USA and many areas on the African continent.

Slade holds South African ATP O27O243579 and American ATP 3594668 licences. His ratings include; Instrument, night winch / and undersling ratings, firefighting, CRM, safety and survival, night vision goggles experience, Huet and GRII Helicopter Instructor training and he is Offshore rated.

Flying for over 32 years, he holds a total of 6760 flying hours and is instructor rated on the following aircraft types:- Sikorsky S92, Super Puma, Puma, Alouette III, B407, B206L, B206, HU 500, HU 300, Robinson R66, R44 and R22, EC120 and B2 and B3 helicopters.



Office: +230 650 4032 | Fax: +230 650 4031 | International Mobile: +27 82 458 9362 | Mobile: +230 5 256 6299  

Karl Hans Kebert

Starlite Aviation Group, Vice Chairman

Karl Kebert, co-founder of Starlite Aviation Group, holds the position of Vice Chairman for Starlite Aviation Operations Ltd and Heavy Lift Charters based in Dublin, Ireland. He serves on both the Irish and South African, Board of Directors. Karl is responsible for the design and building of the hangars for the Company’s bases globally. In addition, Karl is responsible for the Marketing of the Company.

Karl is a visionary. His strengths lie in planning and preparing the Company for future endeavours and expansion.

Karl is a successful and accomplished businessman, having established numerous companies. He was born in Vienna, Austria and went on to become a Mechanical Engineer.

Karl immigrated to South Africa in 1967 and began his career in Engineering. He then went on to work in Libya for Pepsi Cola. On his return to South Africa in 1976, Karl established a fruit juice company and formed a base partnership with Anglo American Farms through which Fruitree was established.

In 1984, Karl started Montic Dairy which continues to be a thriving and ever expanding milk processing and packaging company.

In 1996, Karl obtained his helicopter pilot’s licence and purchased his own aircraft. It was at this time that he met Slade Thomas, the now CEO of the Starlite Group. A partnership was formed and Starlite Aviation Group was established. Having bought two Puma helicopters in 1999, Starlite was awarded their first contract, during the Mozambique floods.

The Starlite name and logo was created by Karl in 1998 and adopted by the fledgling company. It was during this time, that Peter Todd, the now Chairman of the Starlite Aviation Group joined the ranks, cementing the partnership of the 'Executive Three Man Team’. They continue to be the driving force of Starlite Aviation Group.


Office: +230 650 4032 | Fax: +230 650 4031 | International Mobile: +27 83 251 9850 | Mobile: +230 5 746 8923 | 


Alan O’Neill

Starlite Aviation Group, Chief Operating Officer

Alan O’Neill holds the position of Chief Operating Officer in the Starlite Aviation Group. A multi-licenced Aircraft Engineer, with a Master’s in Project Finance and Venture Management, Alan has held a number of key positions in the Aviation Industry including Managing Director for Irish Helicopters Ltd, for 12 years.

Before joining the Starlite Aviation Group, Alan was Head of Consulting for Eurocopter International Services. He has extensive experience in the areas of Engineering and Maintenance, Training Safety Management Systems, International Safety and Business Development.

In the Irish Air Corps, Alan excelled in Aircraft Mechanics and Aeronautical Engineering. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Project Finance and Venture Management from the National University of Ireland Maynooth, and went on to receive his Licentiateship Award in Aeronautical Engineering from London City and Guilds, majoring in Aeronautical Engineering Craft Studies.

Alan joined Starlite Aviation Group and Maintenance, Ireland in 2012. He was instrumental in setting up the Irish AOC, CAMO and 145 approvals. His areas of responsibility include the Business Development and Project Management for the Starlite Irish Companies. His involvement in Commercial, Operational and Engineering matters for the Starlite Group include the formation of strategic and financial policies.

Alan is Key Account Manager for Starlite’s Helicopter Services with Eulex in Kosovo and is further responsible for recommendations, negotiations and procurement of the Group fleet and third party aircraft. He consults for the Company on services pertaining to all aspects including: review and purchase of aircraft; importation and exportation of aircraft, maintenance programmes, piloting and flight safety, and training of staff and contractors.


Office: +353 1 4110026 | Fax: +353 1 4110028 | Mobile: +353 87 947 1793


Barry Duff

Starlite Aviation Operations, South Africa, CEO

Barry Duff is CEO of Operations, South Africa for the Starlite Aviation Group. He is responsible for the growth and expansion in this region. He has 25 years’ aviation experience in Commercial Operations and the Oil and Gas industry. Barry, an ex-military pilot achieved numerous accolades and unbridled experience during his years in the South African Air Force. He was appointed Avionics Upgrade Manager, VIP Commander and held the position of Flight Commander. Barry is highly rated and holds a wide range of aviation management qualifications and specific rescue skills. Barry left the Air Force in December 1990, to join the private sector and was appointed as a Director in that same year. He held key management positions in Marketing and Sales during his 10 years in commerce and ascended the corporate ladder rapidly.

In 2000, Barry joined Starlite as a Director responsible for International contracts in Africa, Europe and Vietnam for the fleet of aircraft owned by the Company. With the growth and expansion of the Starlite Aviation Group, he was appointed CEO of Starlite Aviation Operations, South Africa in 2006.



Office: +27 31 571 6600 | Fax: +27 31 564 2237 | Mobile: +27 82 456 5235



Catherine (Kate) Odendaal

Starlite Aviation Training Services Limited and Av8 Holdings Limited, Global Training Director

Kate is Director of Global Training for Starlite Aviation Group. Kate qualified as a medical microbiologist and worked at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town until 1991. She then went on to qualify as an architectural designer and owned a design and project management company until 2000.

Kate completed her Fixed Wing PPL in 2000 and in 2002 obtained her Helicopter Pilot Licence at Starlite Aviation Group. Between 2003 and 2006 Kate held the position of Helicopter Instructor and Training School Manager for NAC Helicopters Unlimited in Durban. Kate was a Senior Commander on HEMS helicopters for Red Cross Air Mercy Services and in January 2008 took up the position of Chief Flying Instructor at Starlite Aviation Group. In 2011, she founded Starlite Aviation Training Academy in Mossel Bay, South Africa. Kate is rated on 11 different helicopter types, including the Puma S330 and has over 4500 hrs of experience.

Kate is responsible for business development for Starlite Africa Aviation, securing and managing training contracts globally. Students from The South African Air Force, Kenya Air Force, Army and Police Air Wing, South African Police Air Wing, Botswana Police Air Wing, Namibia Police Air Wing, Transnet and civilian students form part of the impressive list of pilots that have been instructed by Kate. She is a mentor to the young men and women through their chosen career paths as helicopter and fixed wing pilots.

Kate was elected to the Board of Advisors of Southern African Institution for Women in Aviation in August 2010. In 2013, she won South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award in the category General Services and went on to win Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government award in 2014, in the category, Aviation.




Office: +230 650 4032  | Fax: +27 86 502 3307 | Mobile: +230 5 725 5577 | International Mobile: +27 82 552 2001  

Dimmie de Milander

Starlite Aviation Group, Commercial Director

Dimmie de Milander is Commercial Director of Starlite Aviation Group. He is responsible for contract sales and is considered to be a specialist in the Oil and Gas sector.

After graduating from school, he obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Stellenbosch and went on to complete his M.B.A. through the University of South Africa.
Dimmie worked as Commercial Director for major aviation companies in the field of Oil and Gas operating throughout Africa.

During his 39 years in aviation, he has worked in 28 countries in Africa and the Middle East, and managed numerous contracts, supplying helicopter services to some the largest Oil and Gas companies which includes; Total, Shell, HRT, Petro SA, ExxonMobil and BP.

An accomplished pilot and instructor, he holds multi helicopter endorsements including; Robinson (R22, R44), Bell (206, 212, 412), Sikorsky (S76, S61, S92), Mi (8, MTV, 171, 172), Kamov KA32 and Airbus Puma AS330J.

He has flown a total of 9 150 hours, 8 260 of which are on helicopters, 7 550 on Multi RW and 5 700 offshore, including 1800 hours of Actual and Simulated IF and 900 hours night flying.

Furthermore, his operational experience includes fire fighting, cargo slinging, power line construction, maritime search and rescue, and mountain flying.



Office: +353 1 411 0026 | Fax: +353 1 411 0028 | Mobile: +27 72 599 4676


Fiona McCarthy

Starlite Aviation Operations, South Africa, Director

Fiona McCarthy holds the position of Director of Operations, South Africa. She is responsible for contractual compliance, project management and the implementation of Starlite’s global operational contracts. She has studied Advanced Project Management though Cape Town University, South Africa.

Born and raised in Durban, South Africa, Fiona joined Starlite in 2006 in the role of Operations Manager for charters and local contracts. After the Company was restructured in 2009, she accepted the position of Regulatory Compliance Manager for the Group.

Fiona displayed a flair for bid-writing and the tender submissions process, which she carries out as part of her portfolio. Her skills in this area are globally recognised in the aviation industry.
In 2017, Fiona was promoted to Director of Operations and is now responsible for the streamlining of procedures for bringing new aircraft onto Starlite’s AOCs, as well as the acquisition of new AOC’s in other countries.
Fiona’s role at Starlite requires extensive travel which has helped her gain knowledge of international standards and procedures which are applied in Starlite’s operation. This continuously fuels her passion for the aviation industry.



Office: +27 31 571 6600 | Fax: +27 31 564 2237 | Mobile: +27 82 552 3813

Gareth Schnehage

Starlite Aviation Group, Chief Financial Officer

Gareth was born and raised in South Africa and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. He went on to obtain his Honours in Financial Accounting, Auditing, Taxation and Finance at Rand Afrikaans University and completed his Board Qualifying Examinations at Deloitte where he was an Audit Trainee.

The most recent position held by Gareth was Commercial Director for Dimension Data Management Services (Pty) Ltd.

Gareth’s skills lie in driving business optimisation and change in financial and operational processes. He has demonstrated a flair for the development and implementation of financial and operational structures in multinational entities. In addition, his expertise lies in commercial and contract negotiations, deal structuring, financial processes and tax.



Office: +230 650 4032 | Fax: +230 650 4031 | International Mobile: +27 76 126 9008 |   

Klara Fouché

Starlite Aero Sales and Training, Director

Klara is Director of Training and Aero Sales for Starlite Aviation Group. She is responsible for the management of Starlite Aviation Training Academy and for the sale of both new and pre-owned aircraft for the Group.

Aero Sales is a registered dealer and service centre for the Robinson Helicopter Company, Guimbal Helicopters, Elite Simulators and represents Airbus, Augusta and MD Helicopters.

Klara has a Diploma from The Institute of Directors South Africa NPC. Her working career began in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1989, where she held a position in the accounting and human resources business sectors. It was here, that she displayed her flair for business.

Klara relocated to Durban, South Africa, in 1997, joined Starlite Aviation Group in 1999 where she held the position of Training Coordinator, Test Centre Supervisor and Sales Administrator. She rose to Administration Manager for both Starlite Aero Sales and Starlite Africa Aviation.

In 2012, Klara was promoted to Director of Aero Sales. Since 2004, she has sold 120 Robinson, 11 Guimbal Cabri G2, 2 Airbus and 2 MD helicopters.

In 2016, Klara accepted the position of Managing Director of the Starlite Aviation Training Academy and oversees the day to day running of both the Mossel Bay and Virginia bases.

Klara is recognised and respected in the Aviation Industry, as a successful business woman, owing to her knowledge of aircraft, professional business acumen and the outstanding after sales customer service that she provides.




Office: +27 31 571 6600 | Mobile: +27 83 324 8530


Rodney Meier

Starlite Maintenance, Managing Director

Rodney Meier began his career as an apprentice with Atlas Aircraft Corporation in 1974. He qualified as an aircraft maintenance technician working on Puma and Alouette helicopters.

During his years at Denel, he took up the positions of Crew Chief and Foreman in the Servicing and Overhaul division. After the Puma helicopter was phased out by the South African Air Force and replaced with the Oryx, Rodney went on to manage the assembly line and the aircraft was integrated into the Servicing and Overhaul division. Rodney went on to study Business Leadership Management through the University of South Africa.

During his career in aviation, Rodney's portfolio included the aircraft paint facility, Boeing 737 cargo conversions, supply chain, fuel farm, the C130 upgrade program and the assembly of the Hawk training aircraft. He went on to accept the position of Executive Manager of the Rotary Wing which included the component workshops, comprising mechanical components, electrical and calibration.

In 2013, Rodney joined Starlite Aviation Group as Managing Director of Maintenance. His role is to oversee all AMO’s in South Africa and the Middle East Region. He holds a tight rein, ensuring resources, systems, processes and controls are in place.



Office: +27 10 593 7772 | Mobile: +27 83 628 1664