Nicolette (Nicci) Papaphotis


Nicci holds the position of Accountable Manager for Starlite Aviation Operations, responsible for oversight of Parts 127 and 135 for both commercial helicopter and fixed wing operations.  Her portfolio includes Flight Operations, Airworthiness, Medical, Quality and Safety, with a focus on contracts requiring Starlite’s expertise to operate in austere and challenging environments.

The allure of aviation beckoned Nicci back from successful corporate roles in supply chain to Starlite in 2016. She was promoted to Flight Operations Manager the following year.  Her vast flying experience on various aircraft types, knowledge of aviation and leadership skills are key to drive the Company forward.

Nicci was born and raised in Johannesburg, 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, she worked in emergency services as a lifeguard and paramedic and obtained her helicopter pilot licence. For the next few years, she flew for NAC Helicopters and KZN Aviation with a focus on law enforcement, VIP and government charter and aerial photography. In 2007, she worked in Athens, Greece, as Operations Manager and Pilot.

Nicci moved into Supply Chain and Commodities Risk Management in 2011, as Assistant Procurement Manager at Unilever, focussing on commodity portfolios for Africa, Middle East and Asia.  She was later promoted to Procurement Manager for Third Party Manufacturing for Africa and later went on to join The Kraft Heinz Company as Head of Procurement, Southern Africa.

Nicci holds a Commercial Pilot Helicopter Licence, Grade II Instructor, Instrument and Night Rating.  She has a combined total 2600 flying hours and enjoys actively flying within the business.

Email: [email protected]

Office: +27 31 571 6600 | Mobile: +27 82 715 4203