Aviation

More senior exec departures confirmed by Virgin Australia

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Virgin Australia’s executive team is set to have a whole new look post-administration, with the embattled airline confirming more departures.

It turns out that a number of senior execs have quietly exited the Virgin building since Bain Capital’s takeover deal was approved by creditors last month.

The airline confirmed to Travel Weekly recent reports that chief strategy officer Michael Jones, general manager of sales Ann Elliott and general manager of alliances and international sales Phil Squires are among those that are no longer at Virgin.

The executive exodus follows the resignation of chief experience officer Danielle Keighery back in August, who is understood to have joined the Bank of Queensland in a similar role.

Danielle Keighery

Yesterday, it was announced that Virgin CEO and managing director Paul Scurrah would step down from his role following the completion of the airline’s sale to Bain, which is expected to happen in early November.

His replacement will be former Jetstar CEO and Bain executive Jayne Hrdlicka, who was pivotal in the private equity firm’s bid.

However, business expert Dr Warren Staples from RMIT University said Hrdlicka’s appointment signals that Bain are looking to slash costs, improve the balance sheet, and exit via listing or making a quick sale – “a classic pump and dump strategy”.

“If Virgin do head down the lowest-cost path then it’s hard to see this price war with Jetstar ending successfully for them. It feels like the worst of Australian aviation history repeating,” he said.

“In a worrying sign that corporate Australia is perhaps too forgiving, Richard Branson has returned as a five per cent shareholder while paying for none of the cost of the previous iteration of Virgin’s failure.”


Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons/Commander Keane


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “More senior exec departures confirmed by Virgin Australia”

  1. I agree with Dr. Staples…slash costs, sell out at a profit is the game. The real meaning of “hybrid” is yet to be made clear, but a middle positioning is a hard road to follow. Neither full service including a superior FF plan, nor the lowest low cost. So the only way to justify a middle position is brand differentiation plus a superior service culture that will persuade the market to pay more than JQ, who in turn will apply the screws on price. Nowhere to hide in that scenario. Also the staff will find it difficult to provide a great service culture when there’s clearly much disenchantment with the new owners. Virgin Atlantic succeeded launching in HKG in 1994 by having a differentiated product based on service and new products [Upper Class and Mid Class later rebranded as Premium Y] and of course the Branson effect.
    I can’t see that happening here and given Ms. Hrdlicka’s record at JQ, this seems like a clean-out job to me. It’s obvious it was the plan all along. There’s another maverick about to intrude in the shape of Rex [if it happens]…how on earth will they be positioned? This will be a fascinating case history for marketing lecturers in years to come.

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Game of Thrones studio tour and To Be Irish programme launched by Tourism Ireland

Remember when everyone in your office wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones? Best not show them this news, or the fanfare may return.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas CEO airs doubts about Bonza’s ability to service new routes

by James Harrison

The battle of the airlines begins before Bonza has even put a plane in the air. We can’t wait to see what happens after lift-off.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia launch three new Gold Coast flights, restart Sydney to Canberra service

The new flight announcements have made everyone pretty excited, especially teenagers going to schoolies and adults going as toolies .

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“Different doesn’t have to be worse”: Flight Centre’s Renos Rologas talks post-pandemic travel

This FCM heavyweight reckons having a travel expert at the end of the phone will be “like gold dust” for those navigating the new travel landscape.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea announces famil winners for its champagne incentive, appoints new SVP for sales

Knowing that selling cruises can score you free bottles of champagne AND overseas trips has got our editorial team seriously reconsidering our respective career pathways.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid amps up active offering with Europe walking collection and its biggest US offering yet

The tour operator’s latest collections target those who spent lockdown binge-watching Yoga with Adriene instead of Squid Game like the rest of us.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments