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Meet Mark Hassel Chief Customer Officer for Virgin Australia

May 29, 2014 Global Travel Media TV, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

EGT mediaTVIf ever there was an airline that has gone through some big changes and survived, then it has to be Virgin Australia, starting flying in 2000 after then CEO Brett Godfrey convinced Richard Branson to fund the airline , with its first flight, DJ214 from Brisbane to Sydney on 31 August 2000, the fledging airline had one route, two aircraft, and a team of just 200 people

By 2001 14 new routes were launched, the millionth guest travelled in June 2001 and with Ansett gone, Virgin became Qantas’ serious domestic competitor.

2004 saw the launch of Pacific Blue, based in New Zealand, a leisure-focussed international airline offering flights between Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu, followed by in 2005 by Polynesian Blue in partnership with the Government of Samoa.

Amazingly as we now all treat it as normal, in 2004, Virgin Blue was the first Australian airline to offer an online Web Check-In service and also amazingly, its 50th aircraft went into service.

In 2010 John Borghetti joined Virgin Australia as the new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, with his being allowed to walk out of Qantas, probably the biggest mistake Qantas ever made, with Borghetti determined to turn Virgin Australia into a full service carrier in head to head competition with Qantas – and he knows how Qantas works and thinks!

Very soon he announced the airline’s new business strategy – the Game Change program along with the partnership with Etihad.

With the game changer process well underway, new uniforms designed by Juli Grbac launched, Luke Mangan inspired new menu options revealed, A330 Coast to Coast Business Class announced and on sale, Australia’s first Lounge Premium Entry and Premium Valet at Sydney Airport opens, Virgin Australia is announced as the company’s new name, new lounges open in Melbourne and Brisbane, Virgin Australia Airlines and Delta Air Lines received final approval for their trans-Pacific alliance, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines signed a landmark agreement to establish a long-term alliance, Virgin Australia launches new Velocity frequent flyer program, ATR-72 aircraft enter into service on key regional routes, Virgin Australia Business Class goes on sale across the domestic network, and Pacific Blue and V Australia, adopt the Virgin Australia brand, the fledgling airline had grown up!

In 2012 Business Class was launched across the majority of Virgin Australia’s domestic network, Virgin Australia awarded ‘Best Airline’ and ‘Best Staff Service’ in the 2012 Skytrax World Airline Awards, ‘Mobile Boarding’ passes and first iPhone app are launched, the new Airbus A330-200 designs are revealed, new cabin interiors for Boeing 777 are unveiled, codeshare on select Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America services are launched

Virgin Australia begins flying in New Zealand (formerly Pacific Blue) and Virgin Samoa (formerly Polynesian Blue) takes-off in Samoa, the alliance with Singapore Airlines goes live, new inflight entertainment plans are announced including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Lufthansa Systems’ Wi-Fi steaming technology … phew, when do these guys sleep!

In any case, I think one of the most significant moves Virgin Australia has made is the appointment of a Chief Customer Services officer in the form of Mark Hassel and to hear what Mark had to say at Australian Tourism Exchange, click on the video box below: 

 A report by John Alwyn Jones on location from Australian Tourism Exchange 2014

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Mark Cameron says:

    The financial history of Virgin makes for interesting reading – specifically the amount of money they have gone through over the years and the parlous state of the share price – in investment terms its one to stay well clear of !

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