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Tyrrell leaves Hawaiian for new travel industry role

July 9, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

One of the Australian travel industry’s best-known senior executives, Hawaiian Airlines regional director for Australia and New Zealand, Gai Tyrrell, has resigned to take up a major role elsewhere in the industry.

The industry awaits news of where Tyrrell is headed, with an announcement due shortly concerning an “exciting new challenge to again drive change in our highly competitive industry”.

Karen Macmillan, Hawaiian Airlines’ sales director Australia, and partnerships and promotions manager Australia and New Zealand, will take over as interim leader of Hawaiian’s Australian team.

Russell Williss remains Hawaiian Airlines New Zealand country director. Both Williss and Macmillan report to Theo Panagiotoulias, the airline’s vice president global sales and alliances.

As Australasian head of Hawaiian, Tyrrell lifted the airline’s profile in Australia during a period of growth. She took over in November 2014, a year in which Hawaiian celebrated 10 years of non-stop service between Honolulu and Sydney, and added a fourth non-stop weekly flight between Honolulu and Brisbane.

Gai Tyrrell

Three weeks ago, Hawaiian announced it would increase its non-stop service between Brisbane and Honolulu to up to four weekly flights from 10 December 2018 through to 8 January 2019. The added frequency reflects high demand from Brisbane travellers wanting to enjoy a trip to Hawaii over the Christmas and New Year holiday break.

Tyrrell is one of the industry’s top operators. Before taking up her position with Hawaiian, she served as chief executive at Sabre Pacific. Prior to that, she held numerous senior leadership roles at different companies including chief operating officer at Jetset Travelworld Group, executive general manager at Flight Centre Ltd – FCM Travel Solutions and general manager – industry sales Australia at Qantas.

Written by Peter Needham

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