Gurney’s rise and rise
Rob Gurney, former Qantas, Helloworld and Emirates senior executive continued his relentless climb to the lofty heights of the global travel industry last month when he was appointed as the next global ceo of the oneworld airline alliance. Gurney takes over from Bruce Ashby this month, moving from his previous role with Emirates as senior vicepresident The Americas, where he has helped successfully rebuff attempts by the big three US incumbents United, Delta and American Airlines who formed the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies to, ultimately unsuccessfully, lobby against the US growth of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways. Gurney’s impeccable political skills will place him in good stead for the new role where he leads oneworld – a coalition which includes rivals American Airlines and Qatar Airways alongside Qantas, British Airways, Malaysian Airlines, Finnair, Japan Airlines and more. “In many ways, this move feels like coming home,” he said. It’s understood another applicant for the oneworld role was Virgin Australia chief commercial officer Judith Crompton, who was last month appointed to the newly created position of CEO, Travel and Aviation at Cover-more Travel Insurance.