Flavour of the Week: LATAM’s new CEO, RCL gets new agency, Uber Air appoints boss + MORE!

There has been an awful lot of movement in the travel industry recently, so we’ve prepared a mammoth wrap-up of all the latest appointments to give you some to toast to down at the pub later today.

Australian Cruise Association announces new committee appointments

ACA 2019-20 Management Committee

New executive and management committee appointments were voted on last Friday, September 6 at the AGM held at the Australian Cruise Association (ACA) Conference in Geelong.

Two positions were replaced, with Thor Elliott (Fremantle Ports) stepping down at the end his six-year term and his role as ACA treasurer, and Jay McKenzie (Bob Wood Cruise Group) also finishing her term.  Matthew Carley (Port of Brisbane) and Karlie Cavanagh (Inchcape Shipping Services) were voted onto the committee.  Scott Lovett (Tourism NT) and Martin Bidgood (Intercruises) have been re-appointed to the committee.

LATAM Airlines announces new CEO


LATAM Airlines Group announced today that its CEO, Enrique Cueto Plazo, will step down from his role on March 31, 2020, after 25 years. The position will be assumed by the group’s current Chief Commercial Officer, Roberto Alvo Milosawlewitsch.

This announcement comes at a time of stability for the group, which has successfully overcome long periods of a complex global and regional context, to carry out a seldom seen transformation in the airline industry to create the largest airline group in Latin America.

The succession will take effect on March 31, 2020, allowing for a well-planned transition, while maintaining focus on strategic priorities and ongoing projects.

Busabout welcomes new marketing manager

Jacinda Alderson 1

Busabout, the flexible travel experts, are delighted to welcome new marketing manager Jacinda Alderson to their Australian team.

Jacinda joins Busabout after two years with Easyjet in the UK as brand, content and social manager, and then as interim head of brand, launching award-winning campaigns during her time. Prior to that Jacinda spent six years working with News Corp in a variety of areas including financial reporting, politics and as an award-nominated business columnist. She was also previously integral in leading’s customer service team, fraud investigation team and supplier accounts.

Jacinda’s passion for travel and wealth of experience across the marketing umbrella will be a real asset to the Busabout team and she is currently on the road experiencing the very best of Busabout on Hop-on Hop-off Europe & Sail Croatia.

Tourism Noosa appoints new CEO 


Tourism Noosa is delighted to announce the appointment of Melanie Anderson as the organisation’s new chief executive officer.

Anderson has had a long career in senior executive roles spanning a number of industries nationally and internationally. Her most recent experience has been working for the Queensland Government as general manager of tourism industry development within the State Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and Commonwealth Games.

Anderson also led the Queensland Government’s strategy to grow the tourism industry and create jobs by delivering Outback Tourism Infrastructure programs, including promoting the Year of Outback Tourism for 2019. These programs developed 30 new tourism products across Queensland and delivered new employment opportunities for the region.

Previously Melanie oversaw the growth of the aviation industry in Queensland during her time in the Department of State Development and has worked with both Brisbane Marketing and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, attracting major events and visitors to Queensland.

Melanie will commence her role as CEO for Tourism Noosa in early November, taking over the role from Steve McPharlin who is taking an extended overseas holiday with his family.

Avis Budget Group appoints Keith Rankin as president of international region


Avis Budget Group, the leading global provider of mobility solutions, has recently appointed Keith Rankin as president of the international region, which includes Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA), Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Before his appointment, Rankin was chief executive for the automotive division at Barloworld in South Africa – a licensee partner of Avis Budget Group. Barloworld is a distributor of leading global brands, providing integrated rental, fleet management, product support and logistics solutions.

Rankin started his career at Avis in 1998 where he led the financial planning department. In 2000, Rankin was involved in the purchase of Avis businesses in Norway and Sweden, then later appointed as Chief Executive of Avis Car Rental Southern Africa in 2004.

Royal Caribbean Cruises appoints Thinkerbell as strategy, creative and PR agency


Thinkerbell has been appointed the strategic, creative and PR agency for RCL Cruises after a competitive pitch process led by EnthDegree.

The appointment takes effect immediately and includes marketing strategy and creative for Royal Caribbean International as well as public relations responsibilities for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara.

Havas Media wins TripAdvisor’s global media account

Havas Media has been appointed as TripAdvisor’s global media agency of record, following a competitive global pitch.

The win bolsters Havas Media’s travel credentials in Australia by adding to their current category clients Destination NSW, Emirates and Resorts World Sentosa.

The new partnership with TripAdvisor will draw on Vivendi, the parent company of Universal Music Group, StudioCanal, Gameloft and Havas, to help build engagement with the TripAdvisor brand with hundreds-of-millions of travellers worldwide.

The appointment is one of a series of wins in the travel category in 2019 for the agency.

Including expanding the agency’s remit on Destination New South Wales to include all of its social media planning, buying and content, as well as a very successful award season for long term agency-client Emirates with their campaign ‘Find Your True North’.

Uber appoints Natalie Malligan as head of Uber Air


Uber has announced Natalie Mulligan as the head of Uber air for Australia, where she will be responsible for making Uber’s ambitious urban aviation plans a reality.

Australia will be the first international market outside of the United States for Uber Air, with Melbourne being selected as the third official pilot city alongside Dallas and Los Angeles. The plan is for commercial operations to commence from 2023.

Malligan previously worked in Uber’s ridesharing business as head of cities for Australia and New Zealand. She was approached to lead Uber Air in Melbourne while on maternity leave.

Hilton Fiji welcomes two new members to its management team


Hilton Fiji welcomed two new members to its management team this month. Nauman Hasan has taken on the role of hotel manager of DoubleTree by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island, while Waleed Hassan has joined as cluster commercial director of both Hilton Fiji Beach Resort & Spa and DoubleTree by Hilton Fiji – Sonaisali Island.

Manish Puri appointed GM of Six Senses Shaharut in Israel

Manish Puri Oct 18 2017

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has tapped Manish Puri as the general manager for its upcoming property, Six Senses Shaharut, Israel, scheduled to open in early 2020.

Puri joins Six Senses Shaharut following a stint as general manager of Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali. He began his Six Senses career as general manager of Evason Ma’In Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa in Jordan before serving five years with the multi-award winning Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand, followed by Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain in China.

With more than 25 years in the hospitality industry and an 11-year veteran with Six Senses, Puri graduated from the prestigious Oberoi School of Hotel Management and completed the Oxford Advanced Management and Leadership program with the University of Oxford. Besides completing the Cornell University Professional Development Program with an Advanced Certification in Real Estate and Hotel Investment, he had also successfully completed the General Manager’s Program. Manish is also a certified wine sommelier by the International Wine Guild of America.


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by Christian Fleetwood

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