VIRGIN ATLANTIC APPOINTS CORNEEL KOSTER AS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CUSTOMER
Koster currently holds the role of SVP, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India for partner Delta Air Lines
He previously held a senior leadership team position at Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce the appointment of Corneel Koster as Executive Vice President, Customer. Corneel joins from the airline’s Joint Venture partner, Delta Air Lines, where he currently holds the role of Senior Vice President - Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
In his new role, Corneel will lead Virgin Atlantic’s customer, product and service strategy and will be responsible for all customer facing teams, including airports, cabin crew, contact centres, clubhouses, customer experience insight and the inflight services team. He will commence his new role from August 2019.
Corneel has a strong track record of international leadership experience in the aviation industry, having held senior roles on the leadership teams of both Virgin Atlantic and its key partners. From 2010 to 2013 he held the position of Director of Operations, Safety and Security at Virgin Atlantic, leading all operational workforces in the air and on the ground, including the pilot community.
In his current position at Delta, Corneel oversees sales in the EMEAI region while coordinating the operational aspects and the service delivery to Delta’s customers, working closely with partners Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Under his leadership, Delta achieved record transatlantic customer satisfaction scores.
Before joining Delta, as Chief Operating Officer for Aeromexico he was responsible for the operational excellence and service delivery of Mexico’s leading airline group, running more than 650 services a day, as well as the company’s cargo and ground-handling subsidiaries. Corneel has also held several commercial leadership roles in the passenger, ground handling and cargo businesses of Air France-KLM, and before that KLM.
Corneel Koster commented;
“I’m delighted to be returning to Virgin Atlantic and to join at such an exciting time, as we introduce our first ever A350, begin shaping the customer experience on our A330-neos and introduce a hat-trick of new routes from London Heathrow.
“Customers have always been at the heart of this special airline. I look forward to building upon the amazing work of our teams in the air and on the ground, and to continue innovating to ensure that we are the airline our customers most love to fly, while offering a growing portfolio of travel options with our partners.”
Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented;
“I’m thrilled to welcome Corneel back to the leadership team at Virgin Atlantic. He brings a wealth of experience with him, both working with our partners and in delivering award-winning, world class customer experience for passengers. His new role will allow him to strengthen these important relationships as part of our transatlantic expanded Joint Venture with Delta and Air France-KLM, taking the partnership to new heights.
“2019 is an exciting year of growth for Virgin Atlantic, following the launch of our Velocity strategy. I know with Corneel’s record of success he’ll play a pivotal role in realising our ambition to become the most loved travel company for our customers.”
Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 35 years ago with innovation and customer service at its core. Today Virgin Atlantic carries 5.4 million customers annually, and was recently voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX two years running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, Virgin Atlantic employs over 10,000 people worldwide and operates a fleet of 46 aircraft serving 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside joint venture partner Delta Air Lines they operate a leading transatlantic network - offering up to 38 flights per day between the UK and US with onward connections to over 200 US and international cities. In 2019 Virgin Atlantic will take delivery of their first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft - helping to transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky. Virgin Atlantic recently achieved the highest sustainability ranking of any airline globally with an A- Leadership rating in the 2018 Carbon Disclosure Project performance assessment.
On May 15, 2018 Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Limited signed definitive agreements to combine the existing trans-Atlantic joint ventures. This transaction is in the process of regulatory clearance. Upon completion the airlines’ expanded joint venture will become the preferred choice for customers travelling across the Atlantic offering the most comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers. Customers will also benefit from the co-location of facilities at key hub airports to improve connectivity and access to each carrier’s airport lounges for premium passengers.
In February 2019 Virgin Atlantic acquired Flybe and Stobart Air, as part of a consortium with StobartGroup and Cyrus Capital Partners. Flybe is Europe’s largest regional airline, flying 8.5 million passengers each year to 170 destinations, connecting customers around the UK regions to Virgin Atlantic hubs in Manchester and London Heathrow and beyond. Stobart Air is a profitable franchise operation based in Dublin and includes Propius, an aircraft leasing business.