Virgin Australia boss Paul Scurrah will step down within weeks once the airline’s sale to US private equity group Bain Capital is completed.
The airline on Thursday said Mr Scurrah will be replaced by former head of Jetstar Jayne Hrdlicka, who will take over at the close of the deal, expected in early November.
Mr Scurrah had clashed with Bain over strategy and wanted to maintain a more premium offering than desired by the US private equity firm, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Bain still plans to keep Virgin’s lounges and business-class offering, in contrast to suggestions it would become a budget carrier, but is not likely to keep operations at a level desired by Mr Scurrah.
However, administrator Vaughan Strawbridge said he had confirmed with Bain that the airline would not be a low-cost one.
Virgin would be a hybrid airline, Mr Strawbridge said, and would appeal to corporates as well as budget-focused customers.
The Australian Services Union has called on Bain to confirm there are no plans for a low-cost carrier and to honour promises to Virgin workers.