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Reports suggest fate of Virgin Australia CEO hangs in balance

Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah can be replaced in the nearest future due to disagreements with airline’s owner Bain Capital, reports suggest.

The situation was detailed in a report by the Australian Transport Workers Union (TWU), which suspended its negotiations with the carrier.  

“This is a serious and worrying development. The ink is not yet dry on the sale of Virgin (VAH) and it appears that private equity firm Bain Equity are behaving as we feared: ripping out the heart of Virgin (VAH) and reneging on promises to the Australian people,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.

The Union fears the owner will turn Virgin Australia into a low-cost carrier, despite earlier claims to abstain from serious restructuring. Australian media speculates that Jayne Hrdlicka, former CEO of Jetstar, is eyed to take over Scurrah’s position.

“If the plan and scope of the airline as outlined in August by Bain Capital has already been scrapped then this is a serious betrayal that must be addressed,” Kaine added.

The company entered voluntary administration at the height of COVID-19 crisis in April 2020, announcing deep reorganization with the focus on domestic flights. Bain Capital took the firm over in early September. 

 

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