The CEOs of Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines have formally joined the board of Virgin Australia.
The appointments of Christopher Luxon, James Hogan and Goh Choon Phong are effective immediately, and reflect the shareholdings each of these airlines have in Virgin Australia.
“We are privileged to have such a strong and diverse group of leading international airlines as our major shareholders and it is with great pleasure that I welcome their nominated representatives to the Board,” Chatfield said in a statement on Friday. “The new directors bring a wealth of global aviation experience which will further strengthen the Board.”
“We have put in place strong protocols in relation to confidential information and any conflict of interest. The board will continue to ensure it serves in the best interests of all shareholders. The board will comprise of ten directors, four of which represent the major shareholders including Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and the Virgin Group. The remaining six directors include five independent directors and one executive director.”
How the new board works in practice will be closely watched. Notes business commentator Stephen Bartholomeusz on the businessspectator.com.au website: “Having the CEOs of three major airlines with competing aspirations and interests elsewhere on the board, as well as a representative of another airline group with its own interests to protect, could make for a combustible mix.”
Says Bartholomeusz, “there’s massive potential for conflicts of interest – and real conflict – around the new Virgin board table.”