The Flight Centre Travel Group has announced that Andrew Stark, the company’s managing director for the Middle East and Africa, has been appointed to the newly-created role of global managing director for the flagship Flight Centre leisure brand effective Feb. 1, 2022.
Mr. Stark will relocate from South Africa with his family and be based in Brisbane, overseeing the Flight Centre brand in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.
He will report to Melanie Waters-Ryan, FLT’s leisure chief executive officer.
“We are delighted that Andrew will continue his career progression with us as the global leader of our largest and most famous leisure brand,” Ms. Waters-Ryan said. “He boasts an impressive and diverse history of building brands and businesses in his almost 20 years as a senior executive with the group. His passion for people, business and customers will be invaluable in his new role at the helm of Flight Centre brand globally.”
Mr. Stark, 43, first joined FLT in 2000 as a corporate business development manager in his native South Africa.
After briefly leaving the company, he returned in January 2005 as general manager of product and marketing in South Africa, before moving to FLT New Zealand to take on a similar role for a two-year period, gaining invaluable international experience.
In 2010, Mr. Stark returned to South Africa to run the company’s corporate business and has since served as leisure general manager, managing director for South Africa and is currently the MEA managing director, a role that he took on in January 2015.
“I’m excited and humbled to be part of the Flight Centre global leadership team and together we will see an exciting new era of growth and innovation in global leisure travel, particularly the Flight Centre brand, as the world re-emerges from the pandemic,” Mr. Stark said.
“Flight Centre brand is well placed to grow its global market share because during the pandemic we kept investing in customer-centric strategies for the new world of retail. Our eco system has never looked stronger and more agile globally with 3,000 highly skilled travel experts, 408 customer-centric stores, exclusive irresistible deals, real-time data points and a world class bookable website across the world – giving customers the trust and confidence in dealing with a reputable and recognized travel company that has stood the test of time.
“We have exciting plans ahead in 2022, when we will celebrate the brand’s 40 years of operations, opening the world for those who want to see for millions of new and loyal customers.”
FLT has also announced Euan McNeil’s appointment as South Africa’s managing director.
Mr. McNeil formerly worked alongside Mr Stark as the MEA region’s chief financial officer.