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Ex-Virgin MD joins Brisbane Airport board

written by Dylan Nicholson | March 4, 2020

Former Virgin Australia managing director John Borghetti has joined Brisbane Airport’s board.

The airport’s chief executive Gert-Jan de Graaff said Borghetti brings decades of experience across the aviation industry to the role.

“John Borghetti’s appointment further strengthens our capacity and I know the team will be excited to be able to learn and benefit from his insights,” he said.

Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti at the company's annual general meeting. (Virgin Australia)
Newly appointed Brisbane Airport board member John Borghetti (Virgin Australia)

Borghetti retired from Virgin Australia in 2019 after nine years as CEO and Managing Director.

Prior to joining Virgin Australia, he spent his entire career at Qantas Airways, starting in 1973 and rising eventually to the position of executive general manager, responsible for Qantas Domestic, International and QantasLink.


“Through his years at Qantas and Virgin, John has been a long-time friend of this airport and of Brisbane and Queensland, so it is wonderful news to have him ‘back’ to work with us to build our future,” de Graaff said.

Borghetti said he was delighted to join the board at such an important period in the airport’s growth.

“For many years Brisbane Airport has been at the forefront of airport development and innovation in Australia. With the opening of the much-awaited new runway in July this year the opportunities for Brisbane Airport are immeasurable and I look forward to working with the rest of the board to support management to deliver on that enormous promise,” he said.

Borghetti was appointed to the new role by IFM Investors, a shareholder of Brisbane Airport Corporation.

Strong international passenger growth delivered a record number of travellers to Brisbane Airport in 2018-19.

The airport said on Friday it had a record 23,782,623 travellers for the 12 months to 30 June 2019, up 1.5 per cent compared with the prior corresponding period.

The bulk of the increase came from international passengers, which grew 4.5 per cent to 6.2 million.

Story by Dylan Nicholson

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Comments (5)

  • Bob Santiago


    Didn’t he just hire all his buddies pay them ridiculous amounts of money then bail out leaving VA with a huge amount of debt?

  • Lee


    Good on you John. Great timing leaving Virgin. It will be interesting to see how future negotiations between BNE airport and QF go!!!

  • Rod Pickin


    No argument, Mr. B has done wonders for the marketing of both both Qantas and Virgin and he deserves credit for that however his actual monitoring and control of excessive expenditures within both companies is a factor that the Brisbane Airport Board should reflect upon very closely. In addition, I wonder if his current 9,367,924 shareholding in VAH puts his new position in a conflict of interest situation.

  • Rocket


    It really is a club isn’t it. You’d think the performance of VA would render this guy persona non grata in business but noooo onto another board and the trend continues. Why do people that oversea something such as the best part of a decade of losses keep getting recycled?

  • Dan


    Good luck BNE, you’re gonna need it! (Given this guy’s track record at VA).

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