Andrew Stark is Flight Centre’s new global managing director
Andrew Stark

Andrew Stark is Flight Centre’s new global managing director

BRISBANE — The Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has appointed Andrew Stark to the newly created role of global managing director for the flagship Flight Centre leisure brand, effective Feb. 1, 2022.

Stark, who currently serves as the company’s managing director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA), will relocate from South Africa with his family to Brisbane, Australia to oversee 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,” said Waters-Ryan. “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.”

Star 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. In 2010, 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 he took on in January 2015.

On his new role, Stark said: “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.”

Noting how Flight Centre maintained investments in customer-centric strategies throughout the pandemic, Stark added that the Flight Centre brand is well positioned to grow its global market share.

“Our ecosystem 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,” said Stark.

He added: “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. McNeil formerly worked alongside Mr Stark as the MEA region’s chief financial officer.