Finnair chief commercial officer (CCO) Juha Jarvinen is to leave the carrier on 31 December 2018 and take up a role as executive vice president of commercial at Virgin Atlantic.
He will be responsible for the airline’s network, revenue, and loyalty programme – including working closely with Delta Air Lines to continue to deliver the leading transatlantic joint venture, building on his deep industry expertise and insight on partnerships.
Finnair said a search for his replacement has started and on leaving the Helsinki-based airline, Jarvinen said: “During these years of change, turnaround and growth, I have learned a lot both on teamwork and leading change. We have steered Finnair towards a strong growth path, we are a significant airline in connecting Europe and Asia, and our customer satisfaction is at a good level compared to international standards.
“I am naturally excited about my new role, but I also feel wistful. Finnair and Virgin Atlantic are both great brands, each with a great history and an authentic story. I will soon say goodbye to Finnair, but the Finnair team will always have a special place in my heart.”
Virgin Atlantic has also announced that Ash Jokhoo will join as new senior vice president (SVP) for technology from February 2019, joining from Centrica where he is currently CIO for British Gas.
He will lead the airline through its technology transformation, which will offer customers more personalised service online, through the Virgin Atlantic mobile app and at the airports the airline flies to and from around the world. Ash has previously held leadership positions at TalkTalk and BT.
The new additions complete Virgin Atlantic’s leadership team following the announcement that chief executive officer (CEO), Craig Kreeger and SVP technology Don Langford will retire at the end of the year. Shai Weiss, current EVP commercial and CCO, will become CEO from 1 January 2019.
Virgin Atlantic CCO, Shai Weiss said: “I’m thrilled to welcome two such proven leaders to our team, with these additions we are ready to take Virgin Atlantic forwards in 2019 and beyond.
“Juha and Ash both bring deep industry knowledge and expertise in their specific fields, as well as a strong track record of amazing people leadership.
“I know they’ll bring the commitment and passion that makes Virgin Atlantic such a special airline for our customers to fly with and our people to work at.”