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Tiger Airways chief to join Jetstar ranks

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AAP

2012-12-06

Budget carrier Jetstar has poached Tiger Airways chief executive Andrew David to become the head of its long-haul operations.

Mr David takes over as the boss of Jetstar's wide-bodied aircraft services out of Australia and Singapore in mid-2013, the Qantas subsidiary has confirmed.

His appointment to Jetstar comes only a year after he took the helm at Tiger's Australian operations.

That followed a five-year stint as Virgin Blue's chief operating officer when it was a budget carrier.

The change at the top of Jetstar comes only five weeks after Virgin Australia announced it was buying 60 per cent of Tiger for $35 million.

Jetstar chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said Mr David's management experience would equip him to grow Jetstar's presence in new and existing markets.

"Andrew brings 20 years of experience in aviation to Jetstar, as well as management skills in IT, commercial and operations," she said in a statement.

"He understands low fares and he understands our key markets."

Based in Melbourne, Mr David will oversee the integration of Boeing 787 aircraft into the Jetstar fleet and be charged with improving customer service, operational safety and revenue growth, Ms Hrdlicka said.

He served as a project manager with British Airways in 1988 before spending 13 years with Air New Zealand in a variety of management roles.

Under Jetstar's management changes, the airline's Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall will run the carrier's narrow-body A320 operations.

Jetstar is resuming its long-haul Melbourne to Honolulu service later this month, adding to the existing Sydney to Honolulu route.

The battle for budget airline supremacy is heating up, with Virgin Australia confirming on Thursday it had won approval from Singapore's corporate regulator to take over Skywest for $98.7 million.

Jetstar's parent company Qantas shed 1.75 cents to hit $1.31 at 3.39pm AEDT.