Sherin Mathew is DOSM at Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Goa

AccorHotels has appointed Sherin Mathew as the director of sales and marketing for Novotel Hotels & Resorts, Goa. Mathew brings with him over 12 years’ experience in sales, business development, strategic planning and team management.

Prior to joining Accor Hotels, Mathew was the DOSM at Hyatt Place Goa. He has been associated with some of the most renowned hotels including Taj Hotels & Resorts Chennai, Taj Fisherman’s Cove Chennai, Hyatt Hotels in Chennai (Hyatt Regency) and Goa.

After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management from Welcome group Graduate School of Hotel Management, Manipal,  Mathew began his career with Taj Coromandel, Chennai, and then went on to hold various positions across leading hotel chains in India.

James Robert Wilson is new Centara GM in Bangkok

Centara Hotels & Resorts has appointed James Robert Wilson as general manager of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok.

Prior to his Bangkok move, Wilson was previously general manager at Centara Grand West Bay Hotel Doha in Qatar.

Wilson, a British national, has almost 30 years’ hotel experience in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He had served as general manager for hotels such as Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok, Dusit Thani Dubai and Millennium Corniche Hotel Abu Dhabi, as well as being the vice president of operations at Dusit International.

Jenni Martin gets a lift at Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has appointed Jenni Martin as head of South and South-East Asia.

Martin will be based in Singapore and will oversee sales and market development activity across South and South-east Asia, with a particular emphasis on close association with Air New Zealand’s alliance partner Singapore Airlines.

Martin started her career in 2010 with Air New Zealand, after a stint with Qantas, as an account executive in the New Zealand region corporate sales team. Since then, she has developed her career in increasingly important assignments and was most recently the Air New Zealand’s senior sales and operations manager based in Sydney.

David Hodges is new Virgin Atlantic country manager for India

Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of David Hodges as the new Country Manager for its India operations. With over a decade of business development and external affairs experience, Hodges has an established track record of leadership and business expansion at large, multi-national organisations including varied roles at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Brevia Consulting where he worked with multinational companies such as EDF Energy and T-Mobile.

Hodges joined Virgin Atlantic in 2013. Within the remit of his role Hodges oversees sales, distribution, contact centre management, marketing, press relations and customer experience. Prior to his appointment as the country manager for India, he was the external affairs manager in which he worked closely with the Government and the business sector.

Hodges started his career as an adviser to a Parliamentary inquiry at Westminster into English Football and its governance, leading to significant reforms. He then moved on to advise businesses such as T-Mobile and EDF Energy on communications before taking a position at the London Chamber of Commerce running their infrastructure and skills section. Hodges holds a first class bachelor of arts degree in history and politics from the University of Leicester and a master of science degree from Brunel University

Mark Willis is president Asia, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has appointed Mark Willis as president for its Asia operations. Willis will take over from former senior vice president for Asia, Andrew Langdon, who will now continue to operate as the chief development officer.

Willis comes to the position with 20 years of management, operations and business development experience in the global hospitality sector. His last appointment was as senior area vice president Middle East, Turkey & Africa, at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. British-born Willis has studied a number of senior management programmes at Cornell University in the US and has also earned an MBA in International Business from Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

Movenpick is targeting operation of 30 properties in the Asia Pacific region by 2020.

Izham Ismail steps up at Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has appointed its chief operating officer Izham Ismail as executive director and group ceo-designate, in the wake of the resignation of its ceo, Peter Bellew, who has returned to Ryanair to assume the role of chief operating officer.

Ismail has 38 years of experience in the aviation industry, having started his career with MAS as a pilot in 1979. He broke world aviation records when he flew MAS’s first B777-200 eastward from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur and back. The flight set new world records for longest flight and fastest round-the-world flight by a commercial airliner, with a total flight time of 41 hours 59 minutes over a distance of 23,310 miles.

Appointed to a management position just 10 years after joining MAS, he has climbed through the ranks over the years, including as senior instructor pilot, fleet manager and director of operations. Prior to becoming chief operating officer in 2016, he served as ceo of MASwings, MAS’s sister company in Sabah and Sarawak.

Julian Crane gets Six Senses in the islands

Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas has appointed Julian Crane as director of sales and marketing for Maldives and Seychelles. Based in the Bangkok office, Crane brings more than 20 years of international experience in the high end hospitality sector.

Crane joins Six Senses from his previous role of director of marketing for Four Seasons Hotel Doha. He originally joined Four Seasons in 1993 at the Regent Kuala Lumpur as front desk manager before moving into sales. He then became director of sales in the Four Seasons properties in Chiang Mai, Tokyo and Sydney before becoming director of marketing in Damascus and then Doha.

Crane’s hotel career began in 1990 as a trainee at The Ritz Hotel London. He then joined the opening team of the Sheraton Towers in Melbourne as a Guest Service Agent before joining Four Seasons.

In the Maldives, the Thailand-based hospitality group runs the Six Senses Laamu resort.


Ashish Kishore is new American Express GBT MD for India

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has appointed Ashish Kishore as the new managing director for India. In his new role, Ashish will have overall management responsibility for GBT’s business in India. He will be part of the Asia Pacific leadership team, reporting to the managing director, International.

Kishore joins GBT from air services provider, dnata, where he was country head for India. In this role Kishore oversaw the entire business strategy, had responsibility for 400 employees and grew the business. In addition, he is a board member of the Global Business Travel Association India and Ashish has been instrumental in advocating for the business travel sector and leading discussion around the role travel management companies play.

Kishore formally assumes the role on December 1 and will be based in Gurgaon

Ashish Kishore, American Express


Vishal Sinha appointed ceo of Carlson Wagonlit Travel India

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has appointed Vishal Sinha as chief executive officer of CWT India. Sinha is based in CWT India’s head office in Gurgaon. And will report to Kai Chan, CWT’s President for Asia Pacific. Sinha is a member of CWT’s Asia Pacific leadership team. He succeeds Geeta Jain, who has moved as Strategic Program Vice President, globally.

Sinha now leads CWT India’s team of over 1,200 personnel across nine offices and is also responsible for growing CWT’s business in India, particularly with local companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Sinha has more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry, including substantial international experience. Most recently, he was chief operating officer of TUI India. Prior to that he spent seven years based in Tokyo, Japan, as a regional general manager at British Airways.


Katerina Giannouka heads Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in Asia

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has appointed Katerina Giannouka as president, Asia Pacific, effective December, 2017. She will be based in Singapore at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s Asia Pacific headquarters and will report directly to John Kidd, CEO and COO, Carlson Hotels Inc.

“Asia Pacific is a key growth engine for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group as we expand our presence and develop our successes,” said John Kidd. Before joining Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Katerina was the head of development for Asia Pacific and China for Rosewood Hotel Group.

Alan Watts named president, Hilton Asia-Pacific

Alan Watts has been appointed executive vice president and president, Asia Pacific at Hilton hotels, effective January 1, 2018. Watts was chief operating officer for AMEA for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and responsible for the company’s operations in 280 hotels across six brands and 40 countries. Watts joins Hilton after a two-decade career at IHG.

Watts will oversee the operations of more than 200 Hilton properties across the region, as well as the company’s pipeline of over 375 hotels. Watts will be reporting to Hilton’s president & ceo Christopher Nassetta, and serve as a member of the executive committee.

Tony Douglas is new group ceo of Etihad

Tony Douglas has been appointed as group chief executive officer of the Etihad Aviation Group effective January 2018 and will be based in Abu Dhabi. Douglas joins Etihad from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.

In the UK, he held senior positions with airport operator British Airports Authority (BAA) and Laing O’Rourke. Under BAA, he was the managing director of the Heathrow Terminal 5 project and CEO of Heathrow Airport, at various times.

Douglas has held senior positions in the UAE, as ceo of Abu Dhabi Airports Company and of Abu Dhabi Ports Company.