Flavour of the Week: Barry Mayo’s new role, Flight Centre hires high-profile hotel exec, Hayman Island appoints GM + MORE!

Get a little end-of-week motivation by having a peruse at all these new industry appointments! Or drink wine at your desk and seethe with jealousy like the rest of us.

Flight Centre Travel Group’s global procurement network appoints high-profile hotel executive

Yon Abad

Flight Centre Travel Group’s global procurement network (GPN) has appointed senior hotel executive Yon Abad to the role of vice president (VP) corporate suppliers relationships and distribution platforms.

Based in the United States, Abad brings to the position more than 15-years’ experience in global corporate travel, as well as hospitality contracting, distribution and technology.

Abad has spent the past decade working for a global travel management company (TMC), where he most recently led the global hotel supply division. He also spent five years as head of a corporate travel consulting business operating in North and Latin America.

As part of his new role within GPN, Abad will source and manage a portfolio of FCTG’s corporate global land supplier relationships. He is also tasked with driving the growth and development of corporate content within FCTG’s new hotel distribution platform.

Hayman Island by Intercontinental appoints Arpad Romandy as general manager

Arpad Romandy - General Manager

Hayman Island by InterContinental has appointed hospitality heavyweight Arpad Romandy to its senior management team as general manager of Australia’s most iconic private island resort.

Romandy brings decades of experience in the hospitality industry, with recent roles at standout properties such as Shangri-La Sydney and Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney making him the ideal candidate to take the reins of the island’s new era of luxury.

Romandy is no stranger to InterContinental Hotels Group and the wider InterContinental brand, having spent 18 years working in pivotal leadership roles for InterContinental Hotels in the UK, Spain, USA and Canada.

Romandy previously held roles as  general manager/hotel manager at the Harbor Court InterContinental Baltimore, Barclay InterContinental New York & Willard InterContinental Washington DC.

Barry Mayo appointed interim chairman for CT Partners 

This week’s announcement that TravelEdge is being acquired by Helloworld has resulted in TravelManagers’ Barry Mayo being appointed as interim chairman, stepping into the role vacated by Grant Wilson whose company is exiting from CT Partners as a result of its sale.

CT Partners is an alliance of 21 of the largest independent corporate travel management firms and premium leisure agencies in Australia, with a combined annual total transaction volume (TTV) of AU$1.5 billion.

Air New Zealand appoints new board director

Air New Zealand has appointed Laurissa Cooney to its board of directors.

Cooney is of Te Āti Hau Nui a Pāpā Rangi (Whanganui) descent and is a professional independent director with several iwi-affiliated entities, as well as chief financial officer for Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi.

She has previously held senior auditing and consulting roles with Deloitte in New Zealand and Deloitte Touche in London.

Virgin Australia announces change of director

Virgin Australia has announced Lan Xiang has stepped down from his tole as non-executive director of the board of the Virgin Group.

Kevin Xing has been appointed to take Xiang’s place as the nominated member for the Nanshan Group.

Voyages welcomes new GM for Ayers Rock Resort’s hotel division

Philip Logan

Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia has appointed Philip Logan to the position of general manager for the hotel division of Ayers Rock Resort, commencing 15 October 2019.

The role includes oversight of Ayers Rock Resort’s five hotels, all food and beverage outlets including outdoor catering, and the retail department.

Most recently the general manager of the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Logan has extensive experience in senior leadership roles with both Accor and Starwood across the UK, the Middle East, India and the Asia Pacific.

Emirates announces commercial team changes

Emirates has announced key appointments and rotations in its global commercial operations.

Salem Obaidalla, currently senior vice president of aeropolitical and industry affairs, will take over as senior VP of commercial operations for the Americas.

Adil Al Ghaith, currently senior VP of commercial operations for the Gulf, the Middle East and Iran, will take on additional responsibility for the UAE and Oman.

Orhan Abbas, currently senior VP of commercial operations for Africa, will take over as senior VP of commercial operations for the Far East.

Badr Abbas, currently senior VP of commercial operations for the Far East, will take over as senior VP of commercial operations for Africa.

Thierry Aucoc, currently senior VP of commercial operations for Europe and the Russian Federation, will take on additional responsibility for Germany and the UK.

Ahmed Khoory, senior VP of commercial operations for West Asia and the Indian Ocean, retains his current portfolio.

NCLH announces new ANZ sales directors for Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises

Gillian Seller 2

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Oceania Cruises (OCI) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) has announced the appointment of travel industry veterans Gillian Seller (pictured above) and Trevor Thwaites as part of its trans-Tasman executive team.

Seller has been appointed to the newly created role of director of sales for Australia and New Zealand at RSSC.

Seller brings with her over 30 years experience in the luxury hotel and travel industry, most recently working as Accor’s director of luxury sales for the Pacific region.

Thwaites has been appointed to the newly created role of director of sales for Australia and New Zealand at Oceania Cruises. He brings with him over a decade of sales experience – including over 10 years in the cruise industry, most recently as national sales manager at Princess Cruises.

Seller and Thwaites both joined the company in September.

The Walshe Group adds Vistara to its portfolio

Vistara aircraft

Vistara, an Indian full-service carrier and a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, appointed The Walshe Group as its representation company in Australia.

As the highest-rated Indian airline on Skytrax and TripAdvisor and the winner of several ‘Best Airline’ awards, Vistara brings the combined experience of its parents Tata Sons, one of India’s largest and most respected business houses, and Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s most respected airlines, to Indian aviation.

The airline now connects 30 destinations and operates nearly 200 flights a day with a fleet of 23 Airbus A320 and nine Boeing 737-800NG aircraft. The airline has flown more than 16 million customers since starting operations in 2015.

Celestyal Cruises appoints new BDM


Celestyal Cruises has announced the appointment of Mary Williams as business development manager for Australia. Williams is an accomplished sales professional with more than 10 years’ experience spanning across sales, business development and travel consulting.

Williams has been asked to develop and maintain Celestyal Cruise’s presence in the Australian market through active and effective business and client relationship development.

Sangha Retreat by Octave institute appoints John Reed as chief operating officer

SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE Institute has announced the appointment of John Reed as chief operating officer, effective 8 October 2019.

Reed brings more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry in the US, Australia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bali and Bhutan.

He has worked at the helm of several renowned hospitality organisations and has deep knowledge and understanding of the markets in South Asia and Indochina, especially Bhutan, where he spent a significant part of his career building the AMAN brand.

Reed will report to chairman and founder of OCTAVE Institute, Frederick Chavalit Tsao.


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