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Stuart Allison steps up at Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises, a division of Carnival Corporation, has appointed Stuart Allison as senior vice-president, Asia-Pacific planning and operations, to step up its operations in the Pacific region.

Allison is based in Sydney and will be directly responsible for Carnival’s China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore business, while retaining revenue and operations oversight for the Australia and New Zealand business. Allison will report to Deanna Austin, newly appointed chief commercial officer for the Princess Cruises brand, who currently leads global deployment and revenue management.


Sam Lay is senior director at CWT Meetings & Events

Sam Lay has been appointed as senior director for Asia Pacific of Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s meeting and events division, based in Singapore.  He will report to Cindy Fisher, senior vice president and global head, CWT Meetings & Events.

Lay is accredited as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), bringing more than 17 years of experience in the meetings and events industry, having worked at organisations such as the Singapore Tourism Board and Suntec International among others. At Suntec International, he headed the planning and development for some new convention projects in Asia. Prior to joining CWT Meetings & Events, he was the senior director for Greater China at BCD Meetings & Events.


Santosh Kumar promoted to MD of HRS India

Hotel solutions provider HRS has announced the launch of a new office in Bangalore, as well as the appointment of Santosh Kumar as managing director for its India operations. Kumar was previously director of corporate solutions for the India operations. Kumar has extensive experience in business development and partnership management in the business travel industry.


Sanjay Keswani is GM at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Pune

Sanjay Keswani has been appointed general manager at Four Points By Sheraton Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Pune. Prior to his present role, Keswani was the general manager at Holiday Inn New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida. A seasoned hotelier with an experience that spans over three decades, Keswani started his career in 1986 with Taj Hotels and has since worked for brands like Hyatt, Hilton, and IHG.

Sanjay brings with him a robust experience of over three decades with exposure to different markets across the world. A hospitality graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management Mumbai (Dadar Catering College Mumbai), his hospitality career began as part of the culinary team at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel Mumbai.


Parag Sawhney is GM of Conrad Bengaluru

Parag Sawhney was appointed general manager for Conrad Bengaluru to lead the pre-opening of the second property of the luxury portfolio of Conrad Hotels and Resorts by Hilton in India. Prior to this, he was general manager for Hilton Bangalore Embassy GolfLinks until 2017. His leadership won the Highest Standard of Quality Excellence Awards in APAC by Hilton for his. Sawhney has over 16 years of experience in hotel operations including general management, food and beverage management, front office management and guest relations across the Middle East, United Kingdom and India. Sawhney began his career as a management trainee in Pune, India, at Hotel Kundan Palace and then at Holiday Inn. Sawhney earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and Catering Technology from Dr. D Y. Patil Institute of Hotel Management, Pune, India, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom.


KM Chengappa moves to The Leela Palace Chennai

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has appointed KM Chengappa as the general manager of The Leela Palace Chennai, the city’s first and only sea facing property.

Chengappa has been long associated with The Leela Group and was previously the resident manager at The Leela Palace Bangalore. In his new role, Chengappa will oversee the 326-room Platinum Leed certified Palace Hotel, spanning six verdant acres with magnificent views of the Bay of Bengal. Inspired by the architectural opulence of the Chettinad Dynasty and home to world-class restaurants and the internationally renowned ESPA spa, it has been ranked one of the best hotels by Conde Nast Traveller (UK), Travel + Leisure India & South Asia and Tripadvisor.

Prior to his appointment, Chengappa was an integral part of the pre-opening team of The Leela Palace Bangalore, which is the only hotel in the city conferred the World Travel Award for leading business hotel for three consecutive years.


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.