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Dec 6, 2012

Outgoing Tiger Airways CEO to run 787s for Jetstar

Andrew David, the Tiger CEO who had to pick up the pieces after its grounding has been recruited to Jetstar to run the 787s that should have gone to Qantas instead. Awesome.

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Andrew David and his Tigers, soon to be replaced by Jetstar 787s

Andrew David, who left the role of chief operating officer at Virgin Australia after John Borghetti succeeded Brett Godfrey as the CEO of Virgin Blue to become CEO at Tiger Airways Australia, is now leaving that role as Borghetti moves to become the founding chairman of Tiger Airways Australia upon Virgin Australia taking a controlling interest in the carrier, and will take up a role at Jetstar which will be responsible for its wide-body operations out of both Singapore and Sydney.

A complex career path, definitely, and a distinguished one, which began with a series of significant roles at Air New Zealand before he went to Virgin Blue, which then became not just Virgin Australia, but 20% owned by Air New Zealand.

It could be seen this way:

David has career in Air NZ. Goes over to Virgin Blue. Air NZ follows his interest in what becomes Virgin Australia, and David moves to Tiger, rebuilding the carrier after a disastrously bad management that had no respect for Australia’s safety rules had ultimately provoked CASA into grounding it for five weeks in mid 2011 as a threat to public safety, which cost it more than $70 million and all but destroyed its business in this country.

Virgin Australia then attracts a shareholding from Singapore Airlines which owns 32% of Tiger Airways Holdings in Singapore and which will in turn hold only 40% of Tiger Australia with the balance held by Virgin Australia, with its CEO John Borghetti becoming the first chairman of that entity.

David is upon this news seeking a new job, causing Jetstar to seize the moment and the man to run its wide-body operation, which is currently A330-200s that are being returned to Qantas as 787-8s are delivered from the end of next year to Jetstar.

However there is no replacement yet for David at Tiger, and everyone has a group hug or whatever, and the following statement comes out early this afternoon from Tiger:

Tiger Airways Australia wishes to thank Andrew David, CEO, for everything he’s achieved on behalf of the airline.

The team wishes him all the best in his future endeavours.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual for Tiger Airways Australia. Andrew David will remain in the role as CEO over the coming months to facilitate a smooth transition period, when a new CEO for the business is appointed.

(The airline will not be commenting further at this time)  

No gardening leave for David. No cooling down period where he forgets everything he learned about Tiger. David will welcome whomever succeeds him at an airline which seems poised under Borghetti’s guidance to give Jetstar domestic a huge shock by actually being a true low cost brand, and then rock up to Jetstar to perform his own knowledgeable strategy for messing with Tiger and for that matter Scoot, with the shiny new Boeing 787 Dreamliners that Qantas is sending to Jetstar so that its full service high yield customers can enjoy a few more years of Cityflyer services using tarted up but very old 767s while it makes it mind up whether or not to exercise some options for 787-9s which it can put into service from 2016.

There is something weird going on here.

But in the spirit of goodwill to all, lets wish David, Borghetti, and mystery new Tiger Australia CEO person X a harmonious and co-operative festive season, after which everyone will no doubt go for each other’s throats in the usual manner.

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