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New roles for the industry’s movers and shakers

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises has named two senior company executives to chart the future course of the company’s two largest brands. Michael Bayley, who worked his way up from an assistant purser’s position aboard the Nordic Prince, will serve as president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, while Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, whose career at the company began in the New England sales office, will serve as president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises. Bayley assumes Royal Caribbean helm after a successful term as Celebrity’s president and CEO.

Before his Celebrity role, Bayley served in several senior roles at Royal Caribbean International, including executive vice president of operations. He is credited for playing a key role in the company’s international expansion, helping launch company operations in markets around the world. Lutoff-Perlo began her company career as a district sales manager in her native New England. She moves to her new role from her position as executive vice president, operations at Royal Caribbean.

VFS Global

201501etw62VFS Global has appointed Vinay Malhotra as chief operating officer (COO) for South Asia effective January 1, 2015. South Asia is an important region for VFS Global and his key focus areas include evolving business strategy, managing key client relationships and business development. Malhotra will be based in New Delhi. He holds an MBA degree from Bradford University, UK and his experience spans over two decades in the travel industry. He will also continue in his role as the global head for Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC).


RCI has announced the appointment of Jonathan Mills to the position of managing director of its Asia Pacific region. Mills will serve as a member of RCI’s senior leadership team, leading the execution of strategic priorities across the Asia Pacific market. He will be responsible for driving business growth while delivering value to RCI members and affiliates in this region. He will be based out of RCI’s Singapore office, and will report directly to Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI.

Mills’ previous experience includes a decade-long tenure with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he most recently served as head of operations for Holiday Inn Express and IHG Shared Services based in Bangkok, Thailand. During his 25 year career, he has also worked for companies such as Forte & Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts, Sodexho Prestige and Hilton International.

Garuda Indonesia

Following the resignation of Emirsyah Satar from his position of president director of Garuda Indonesia, the Extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting (EGSM) appointed M Arif Wibowo as the new Garuda Indonesia president director. By becoming a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance in March 2014, Garuda Indonesia, together with 19 other SkyTeam members, has a network that covers 1,052 destination cities in 177 countries, with up to a total of 16,323 flights per day.


AirAsia has global football star Park Ji Sung as its new global ambassador. As ambassador, Sung will be featured in AirAsia’s upcoming global campaigns as well as make event appearances across the region. The Airbus 330 with the exclusive Sung aircraft livery will be operated by AirAsia X throughout its network in countries such as Malaysia, Korea, Japan, Australia, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia.

Boeing Business Jets

David Longridge has been appointed as president of Boeing Business Jets (BBJ). Longridge, a 21-year veteran of Boeing, most recently served as sales director based in the United Kingdom leading the British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and TUI accounts. He previously was a sales director for BBJ when the group was founded, in 1996. Longridge succeeds Capt. Steve Taylor, who recently was named chief pilot, Boeing Flight Services. Longridge will lead a team of people responsible for the sales, support and operations of Boeing commercial products in VIP, government and military services.


IDeaS Revenue Solutions has appointed Rachel Grier as managing director of the company’s sales operations in Asia. She developed her travel industry sales and marketing skills by working with a range of leading travel technology and hospitality industry brands. Most recently she held the position of senior vice president sales, Asia Pacific and the Middle East for Pegasus Solutions. She worked as the area director of sales and marketing for the InterContinental Hotels Group in Japan where she oversaw a major restructure and was responsible for the sales, marketing and revenue results for three properties. She also held senior sales and marketing roles within leading hotel organisations such as Per Aquum esorts, Spas, and Residences and Rendezvous Hotels International.

Tourism New Zealand

Steven Dixon has been appointed as regional manager, South and South East Asia at Tourism New Zealand based in Singapore. Dixon, who previously held the position of business events manager for North America based in its LA office, will now lead Tourism New Zealand’s activities across the region including the markets of India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and Thailand. Dixon joined Tourism New Zealand in 2011 and has been fundamental in spearheading NZ’s Business Events offering with North American convention and incentives trade.


Inmarsat has appointed Jeffrey Sare as vice president of airline market development. Jeffrey, formerly vice president of strategy and technology for Thales USA, joins Inmarsat during a period of rapid growth and unprecedented investment in its aviation business. This includes the ongoing deployment of the Global Xpress constellation, a high-speed broadband network that spans the world, and the development of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network which will offer airlines one of the world’s fastest inflight broadband connectivity services with speeds up to 75Mbps. During seven years with Thales Group, Sare was, among other roles, vice president and general manager of Thales IFE Systems where he was responsible for the operation and growth of the Inflight Entertainment Systems business unit with annual revenues in excess US$350m.


TripAdvisor has appointed Heather Leisman as vice president industry marketing. In this role, Leisman will lead global marketing to the hospitality industry and will report to TripAdvisor for Business president, Marc Charron. Prior to joining TripAdvisor, Heather led the strategic direction and day-to-day execution of HotelTonight’s European operations as managing director, EMEA. Before that, she served as vice president of partner development and operations at Jetsetter where she was responsible for partner relations, operations and customer service. Previously, she worked as senior director of merchandising at Orbitz. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and is an adventure travel enthusiast.


Amadeus has appointed Frédéric Barou as the new vice president of distribution, products and operations at Amadeus Asia Pacific. Based in Bangkok, Barou will be responsible for driving the overall product marketing strategy, delivering innovative and personalised business solutions to Amadeus customers across the Asia Pacific region. He will also be leading Amadeus customer service for the region. Barou has been a member of the Amadeus family since 1999. Prior to joining the Asia Pacific team, he was vice president, sales and account management for Amadeus North America, based in Chicago, where he oversaw Amadeus’ client relationships with business travel companies and corporations.

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