Burgeoning low-cost airline AirAsiaX has appointed Darren Wright as General Manager Australia.
Mr Wright will be responsible for set up and continuing Australian commercial and operational elements of the Malaysian-based airline.
The long-haul, low-cost carrier will start flying between Kuala Lumpur and the Gold Coast from next month, with a pledge to keep seats available at the lowest possible fares.
Mr Wright’s most recent position was Marketing Manager at Virgin Blue Airlines where he developed, implemented and managed the company’s overall marketing strategy and implementation.
Reporting to the CEO, he oversaw the Australian and New Zealand marketing function for Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue airlines.
He also spent several years as Flight Centre’s National Marketing Manager and is a former Queensland State Manager of global music provider DMX Music.
Mr Wright said his most recent role would stand him in good stead for his new position with AirAsiaX.
“My experiences with Virgin Blue and indeed Virgin Group as a whole have given me a great insight into what it takes to create a successful airline in Australia and there’s no doubt AirAsiaX will become one,” he said.
“Australian residents will now have a low-cost, high-quality alternative when it comes to flying to and from Asia.
“The strength of the brand and four flights per week frequency linked into the already highly successful AirAsia network from Kuala Lumper offers choice of destination within the Asian region that no other airline can match.”
AirAsiaX Chief Executive Asran Osman-Rani said the company was thrilled to have acquired someone with Mr Wright’s credentials to head up its Australian operations.
“Darren has earned a reputation in Australia for his skills, Virgin attitude, knowledge and industry contacts and we are looking forward to the experience will bring to the role,” he said.
AirAsiaX is 20 per cent owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 20 per cent by AirAsia, South-East Asia’s biggest budget carrier.
As well as servicing the Gold Coast, it will offer return flights between Kuala Lumpur and China, with plans to connect to Europe and other Australian cities.