Scurrah replaced at Virgin Australia as Bain take over

Paul Scurrah will depart his role as chief executive of Virgin Australia when the deal to sell the carrier to Bain Capital closes.

The move is expected to come in early November.

Deed administrators on the deal for Deloitte Restructuring Services, Vaughan Strawbridge, said: “Paul has done an outstanding job supporting us through this process.

“His exceptional leadership enabled us to stabilise the business and achieve a sale in a timely and orderly manner.

“It is a testament to his leadership that we have been able to complete this sale and the business is well positioned to play its vital role in the rebuilding of the Australian aviation industry and economy more broadly.”

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He added: “I know there has been speculation about the shape of the airline into the future, and I have reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia will not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier.

“Virgin Australia will be a ‘hybrid’ airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices.

“This will appeal to the full spectrum of travellers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused customers.”

Virgin Australia went into voluntary administration in April before the US private equity group bought it.

The airline struggled under travel bans imposed by the Australian government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scurrah is believed to have had concerns over the future direction of the carrier.

He said: “Over the last 18 months, I have had the great privilege of being the chief executive of the Virgin Australia Group.

“While it has been the most challenging time in aviation history, I have continued to be so proud of the way my team and our entire organisation has fought to save this airline and to keep competition alive and well in Australia.

“We have succeeded in not just ensuring the future of the company, but also reset the business to ensure it is well placed to deliver for Bain Capital for many years to come.”

Jayne Hrdlicka – currently board president of Tennis Australia – is expected to be appointed by Bain Capital as chief executive once the transaction is complete.

She previously held the role of chief executive officer at Jetstar.

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