Nicolette (Nicci) Papaphotis


Nicci currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer for the Starlite Aviation Group.

The allure of aviation beckoned Nicci back from successful corporate roles in supply chain, to join Starlite in 2016. She was promoted to Flight Operations Manager the following year, and thereafter, into the role of Accountable Manager for Starlite Aviation Operations, focusing on commercial and fixed wing operations in Africa.  Her vast flying experience on various aircraft types, knowledge of aviation and leadership skills have been key in driving the company forward.

Nicci was born and raised in South Africa.  She attended the University of Natal Durban, achieving her Bachelor of Science Degree in Actuarial Science. She completed her Board Exams through the Institute of Actuaries, Oxford, United Kingdom in 2005 and her Bachelor of Science Honours in Statistics and Mathematics from the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Whilst studying, Nicci developed a passion for aviation and pursued her Commercial Helicopter Licence. Post her studies, she worked as a commercial pilot in various law enforcement and VIP charter roles in South Africa, as well as fire patrol and aircraft brokerage in Greece.

Nicci moved into Supply Chain and Commodities Risk Management in 2011 for Unilever, focusing on commodity portfolios for Africa, Middle East and Asia.  She then went on to join The Kraft Heinz Company as Head of Procurement, Southern Africa, after which she rejoined the aviator’s fold at Starlite Aviation.

Nicci holds a Commercial Helicopter Pilot Licence and Grade II Instructor Rating.  She has a combined total 2800 flying hours and enjoys actively flying within the business.