Qantas exec who quit role after a year joins Adelaide board

written by Adam Thorn | August 28, 2020
Virgin Australia grounded due to COVID-19 (VH-YIT) Aidan Pullino
A grounded Virgin Australia 737-8FE, VH-YIT, in Adelaide (Aidan Pullino)

A long-serving Qantas executive who departed the airline in mysterious circumstances has been appointed as a director of Adelaide Airport.

In 2019, Alison Webster resigned from her position running the Qantas’ international division after just 13 months despite first joining the business back in 2004.

The AFR even reported she had received a “written caution” after “a blow-up at her direct reports”, though those allegations were seemingly never confirmed.

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Adelaide Airport chair Rob Chapman said Webster would bring “considerable experience” and replace retiring director Alan Mulgrew.

“Ms Webster has more than 25 years’ senior executive experience across airlines, global freight and supply chain logistics, and multi-site catering operations,” Chapman said.

“Her experience will be invaluable as AAL works to re-establish South Australia’s connections with global and domestic markets following the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation industry.

“Ms Webster has held a number of senior executive roles in the Qantas Group, including more recently as the chief executive officer of Qantas International Airways, and has also previously held a senior management role for British Airways.”

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Webster initially made headlines after publicly declaring that she aspired to be Alan Joyce’s successor.

“If I had a dream job, then that’s my spot on the wall. And he knows that,” she famously told The Sydney Morning Herald.

In February, Australian Aviation reported how Adelaide Airport unveiled the first in a series of major terminal expansions. The new dining and retail stores were the first significant works carried out since the airport’s opening in 2005.

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