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.

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

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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10 thoughts on “Outgoing Tiger Airways CEO to run 787s for Jetstar

  1. Roger

    “David is upon this news seeking a new goliath”
    Ben, you know how to make a story interesting. Good one!

  2. Ben Sandilands

    Um. I had to change it to new ‘job’ since David wasn’t actually all that nice to Goliath. Bugga!

  3. paddy

    LOL I read that three times and my head’s still spinning Ben. Can’t wait for the next episode.

  4. ltfisher

    You are being generous, again, Ben in saying that thechair shufflers will wait until after the ‘festive season’ before going for each others throats: moves such as todays don’t happen overnight. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was another, bigger move perhaps involving the older/bigger brother by the time the [jet}Star rises in the East?

  5. Kapo

    There is something weird going on here.

    John Borghetti is stalking Andrew David, next stop……

  6. sandman

    Andrew and John are clearly not fans of each other. Id imagine Andrew David was looking for a new job the minute Virgin starting courting the Singaporeans.
    Kind of a pity though, because from all accounts he has done a good job of turning it around.

  7. wordfactory

    Simple. Andrew David came from the Brett Godfrey-era Virgin Blue. When Borghetti arrived he set about deliberately destroying the old Virgin Blue esprit de corps and replacing it with a new Qantas-lite culture (with maybe 20% better CASK). David had no future in that environment; he had no choice but to move to the other brand if he wanted to stay in Australia, but, as an extremely competent manager, he will be a future candidate for topline positions here and across the ditch in his native NZ.

  8. anonflightattendant

    So does this mean the 787 will be crewed by all casual (non permanent) manpower?

  9. Banjo

    Who cares how they re arrange the deck chairs on the SS Incompetent ? David will take his dough { & bonus } and sing from the same nonsensical song sheet that attempts to justify the inane.

    A 313 seat configured 787 is simply stupid & unsustainable. More outrageous is the systemic misrepresentation that portrays jetstar international as even profitable. The js international wide bodied operation based both in Singapore & Oz is a mighty deep black hole which swallows 10s of millions of $s a year.

    Dixon & Co are at least correct in attempting to highlight the the misuse of Qantas group assets. The 787s should have been the long overdue fillip Qantas Dom & Int so desperately needs.

    Unfortunately Qantas’s incompetent management will probably hang on for a bit longer, no doubt propped up by an Emirates group keen to keep exploiting their commercial & operational ineptitude.

  10. Grant McHerron (aka Falcon124)

    I suspect until recently Jetstar thought they could introduce the 787 pretty easily as they’d be able to leverage off the training & maintenance work being done by Qantas as their 787-team set up simulators, trained engineers and so on.

    What a shame the whole Qantas 787 team has been put on hold now that the QF purchase is gone for a year or two until they need to activate their 2016 options. So much for JQ paying “market rates” for hourly utilisation while QF covers the capital costs & burden of getting it all up to speed.

    Guess the cost of introducing the 787 to JQ has gone through the roof as they’ll need to purchase everything themselves, including getting Andrew on board to manage it all. Ooops 🙂

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