Virgin Australia names Paul Scurrah as John Borghetti's successor

Virgin Australia names Paul Scurrah as John Borghetti's successor

The replacement for long-time Virgin Australia CEO and MD John Borghetti has been found to lead Australia's second largest carrier.

Paul Scurrah will replace John Borghetti who announced his intention to step down in June 2018 after a decade of working for the airline.

Borghetti joined the airline in 2010, when it was called Virgin Blue, and established Virgin Australia as the second largest carrier in Australia by market share.

Under his leadership, Virgin has added routes and purchased rival low-cost airline Tigerair Australia but has struggled to turn a profit, mostly because of an ongoing price war with main competitor Qantas and below-par performance with its Velocity frequent flyer program.

The company recorded a $653.3 million loss after tax in 2018, a $185.8 million loss in 2017, and a $224.7 million loss in 2016.

 

Earlier this year, it failed in an attempt to become a private company because none of its combination of majority shareholders wanted to buy the others out.

Very few of its shares are publicly traded as most of them are held by Etihad Airways, HNA Aviation Group, Nanshan Group, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Group.

Scurrah may be the man to turn Virgin's fortunes around; he has more than 20 years of experience in transport, logistics, travel and aviation and most recently held CEO roles at DP World Australia and Queensland Rail.

He has also recently held executive roles at Aurizon, Flight Centre, and Tourism Queensland.

Scurrah says the opportunity to lead Virgin is one he is excited about.

"Leading the Virgin Australia Group is an immense honour and privilege," says Scurrah.

"The group has positioned itself as a real competitor in the market with its ability to deliver across all segments and I am excited to be joining such a progressive and innovative business. I look forward to meeting the team and building on the group's success."

Scurrah officially commences as CEO and MD on 25 March 2019 and will also join the Virgin Australia board as an executive director on this date.

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