Virgin Atlantic appoints head of UK ad Europe sales

Virgin Atlantic has appointed a new head of UK and Europe sales.

Tom Maynard has joined the airline from travel management company (TMC) BCD Travel, and before that he worked for management consultancy McKinsey & Co in Singapore and New York.

“He’ll bring some real energy and industry experience to our business sales and corporate team,” said vice president of global sales Lee Haslett when announcing the appointment on a Travel Weekly webcast.

Other recent additions include Nikki Goldsmith, who moved to her position as director of sales for leisure, with responsibility for Caribbean points of sale, in December 2020 – from her previous role as head of consumer sales.

“Nikki will bring some real energy, definitely great personality, perfect fit for us in the in the trade,” said Haslett.

Rachel Wilton moved into the position of head of sales operations, from her previous role as head of Virgin Atlantic Holidays, in April – and will oversee the trade support team and build a new trade extranet.

Her remit also includes ensuring Virgin Atlantic “lives up to our vision, which is to be the best airline to do business within the trade,” said Haslett.

“Rachel brings a formidable background in running retail stores across the UK from a trade perspective, but then also some real operational rigor and digital background,” Haslett added.

Talking through the appointments, Haslett said: “We went through a lot of change [during the pandemic].

“One of the things I was really keen as a sales organisation is that we ensure that as we come through this this crisis and rebuild is that we have the best possible team in place to ensure that we’re there to support our trade partners.

On Virgin’s trade engagement, Haslett said: “I’ve challenged the team to ensure that we are and have been first out of the blocks.

“So we want to, when [agents are] ready, to engage. If I look at what we’ve done in the month of July, and into August, we’ve had lots of different trade events, in-person events to not only launch new routes but also to engage and talk about our fantastic new network of fantastic new aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic is headline sponsor of Travel Weekly’s Agent Achievement Awards, the biggest travel agent awards in the UK.

Haslett said Goldsmith would be announcing some trade activity for the event, which takes place in London on September 16.

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