Gur­ney’s rise and rise

Travel Bulletin - - STATE OF THE INDUSTRY -

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.

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