Bruno Besnehard has been named managing director for France of Vueling, the Barcelona-based budget airline that is a part of the IAG group. Vueling, which has network of more than 100 connections in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, has suddenly become important to U.S. travel suppliers because it will link to Level, another IAG airline, which soon begins long-haul service to the USA. Besnehard, 43, will be part of the sales team reporting directly to David Garcia-Blancas. During his career, he has held several senior positions at Air France and Air France-KLM.
Charlie Whinham has been hired as an assistant in the communications section of the Louisiana Office of Tourism. He joins the agency from Louisiana Public Broadcasting where he has been a producer, reporter and host for 15 years.
Isabelle Cordier has stepped down from her position as executive director of FRAM, France’s third largest tour operator (behind TUI and Thomas Cook) “for personal and family reasons,” according to a company press release. She had been on the job a little more than a year. Prior to joining FRAM, Cordier served as executive director of Carrefour Voyages from 2003 to early 2016. Taking Cordier’s place is Michel Quenot, who comes to the job from Look Voyages, where he was director.
Jane Atkins is leaving her post as international sales director at short break specialist SuperBreak after five years on the job. Commenting on her departure, Atkins noted that London, which had been the focus of the company’s business when she joined the company, “is now only a third of our business, with overseas sales volumes growing significantly.”
Peter Hilton resigns as chief executive of Holiday Taxis, the ground transport company which operates in more than 100 countries, including the USA. In announcing Hilton’s departure, a company statement said he resigned “to take time out to travel and work on new projects.” Hilton, who was made chief executive in 2010, will remain as a shareholder.
Carrier has appointed Kuoni’s commercial director, Mark Duguid, as its new managing director following the decision of Steve Kimber decision to retire after six and-a-half years on the job. The appointment takes effect April 3. Duguid, who will be based at Carrier’s headquarters in Cheadle, Cheshire, will oversee a team of 88, including both the tour operator arm of the company, as well as Carrier Travel, its independent retail shop. Both Carrier and Kuoni are brands operating under the Der Touristik umbrella.
At Funway Holidays, product and commercial director Melissa Tilling has been named to replace Stephen Rhodes as managing director. Rhodes had served the tour operator for six years. Tilling has been product and commercial director for six years and has spent a total of nine years with Funway.
American Airlines has announced the appointment of Chris DeGroot as vice president of international sales. DeGroot, who will be based in Fort Worth, Texas, will be responsible for three international divisions, including MCLA (Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America), EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific), as well as Alliance sales teams. DeGroot has been with American since 2001. During his career with the carrier, he has led Distribution, finance and sales strategy teams and has held international positions for the airline in London and Moscow.