Travel Republic parent names new chief executive

Travel Republic parent names new chief executive

Ailsa Pollard succeeds former lastminute boss John Bevan at dnata Travel Group

Dnata Travel Group has appointed a new chief executive for its UK and Europe division.

Ailsa Pollard has been a member of the company’s senior leadership team for 12 years in a variety of roles.

She takes the role of chief executive officer for dnata Travel Group (UK & Europe) from November 1, and will report in to previous incumbent John Bevan, who now oversees all aspects of dnata’s global travel business as divisional senior vice president for travel.

Pollard will assume responsibility for all of dnata Travel Group’s UK-based brands – Gold Medal, Travel Republic, Travelbag, Netflights and Sunmaster – as the head of a leadership team and workforce numbering nearly 800 people.

Her previous senior roles include: vice president – business development and strategy, heading the team that oversaw the acquisition of and holding board positions on many of the businesses that now form the group’s UK portfolio; and four years as senior vice president – Emirates Holidays, in which she oversaw the brand’s global operations across 36 markets.

Most recently, as senior vice president – transformation (global) and consumer businesses (ME&I), she had responsibility for the dnata Travel consumer travel brand in the UAE, and overseeing a complete strategic review and transformation of dnata Travel Group’s global portfolio of brands through Covid, driving operational efficiencies and strategic clarity to support the delivery of its post-pandemic vision of ‘reconnecting a better world’.

Commenting on Pollard’s appointment, Bevan said: “We’re delighted that another part of the dnata Travel family will now be able to benefit from Ailsa’s expertise and leadership.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with her for a number of years and know our team in the UK – as well as our valued industry partners – will enjoy working with her and will go on, together, to achieve great things.

“These are challenging times for all UK travel businesses, and need clear headedness, agility, honesty and commitment to navigate. Ailsa has all of those qualities, as well as decisive strategic vision, a passion for the customer and operational know-how. Our UK organisation couldn’t be in safer hands.”

Pollard added: “I’m looking forward to working with the UK team to emerge stronger from the pandemic. I know how tough the last 18 months have been on our people, our brands, our customers and our partners, but we have very strong foundations and the support of a global business on which we can collectively build an exciting future.”