Mark Anderson has been appointed chief executive of Connect Airways.
Jointly owned by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and fund manager Cyrus Capital Partners, the new entity will take control of struggling regional carrier Flybe.
Anderson joins from Virgin Atlantic, where he held the tole of executive vice president, customer, with the carrier.
Since February 2017 he has successfully led the strategy, creation and delivery of the Virgin Atlantic customer experience.
Previously he was senior vice president and managing director of Virgin Holidays where, in less than three years, he developed a high performing team that achieved record people engagement scores and operating profits with strong customer advocacy.
He has over 25 years of senior management experience in retailing and travel.
Comment from Lucien Farrell, chairman, Connect Airways: “On behalf of the entire Connect Airways board, I’m delighted to appoint Mark as chief executive of Connect Airways.
“Mark has a proven record of leadership, strategy and commercial delivery.
“I look forward to working closely with him and supporting the Connect Airways team as they set out to continue growing the business while transforming the experience customers can expect from regional flying in the UK.”
Connect Airways is an independent airline operating under one management team and owned 40 per cent by Cyrus, 30 per cent by the Stobart Group and 30 per cent by Virgin Atlantic.
Once merger clearance is received from European Union competition officials, Connect Airways will offer significant benefits for customers, Virgin said.
The new group will offer more choice by linking airports around the UK to Virgin Atlantic’s extensive long-haul network through improved connectivity, particularly at Manchester Airport and London Heathrow.
In due course, Connect Airways will use the strength of the Virgin brand, and offer an enhanced customer experience in line with this, a statement added.
Anderson added: “It’s a real privilege and honour for me to take on the leadership of Connect Airways, at this exciting time.
“We are focused on growing the airline while expanding our franchise business in Dublin, redefining what customers can expect from regional flying in the UK.
“We have all the building blocks in place: Flybe’s heritage and expertise in running Europe’s largest regional airline; the operational excellence and strength of Stobart Air; and in the near future, the magic of the Virgin brand.
“I can’t wait to get started with the team.”