Connect Airways, the consortium that has agreed to buy regional carrier Flybe, has appointed Mark Anderson, Virgin Atlantic’s former head of customer experience as CEO as it waits for the deal to complete.

The group – made up of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital – is awaiting clearance to complete the acquisition of the struggling airline. It bought the company’s assets for £2.8 million in February and was given the go-ahead from the carrier’s shareholders to complete the sale for 1p per share.

It is believed regulators may make a decision on whether to let the deal go ahead in July.

Last month, Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener announced she will resign from the airline on 15 July, with her successor due to be named before her departure.

Anderson joins from his current role as executive vice president of customer experience at Virgin Atlantic. Prior to this, he was senior vice president and managing director of Virgin Holidays.

Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group, commented: “Connect Airways represents a compelling financial and strategic opportunity. Having worked with Mark for some months, I am confident he will build a talented team capable of establishing a well-structured, profitable airline. Under Mark’s leadership, we can develop a customer-centric regional connectivity strategy that incorporates London.”

Commenting on his new role, Anderson said: “It’s a real privilege and honour for me to take on the leadership of Connect Airways at this exciting time. We are focused on growing the airline while expanding our franchise business in Dublin, redefining what customers can expect from regional flying in the UK. We have all the building blocks in place: Flybe’s heritage and expertise in running Europe’s largest regional airline; the operational excellence and strength of Stobart Air; and in the near future, the magic of the Virgin brand. I can’t wait to get started with the team.”

connect-airways.com; flybe.com

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