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Virgin Australia: Changes at the top? Paul Scurrah or Jayne Hrdlicka?

Virgin Australia: Changes at the top? Paul Scurrah or Jayne Hrdlicka?

In emerging news, a Bain Capital spokesman has failed to promptly confirm that Paul Scurrah will continue in his role as airline CEO according to the SMH and after an earlier story in the AFR.

This news comes as speculation whirls that Jayne Hrdlicka might become more than a board member or chairperson and head up the executive team.

This might be press manufactured conjecture, given that the initial question and response was generated today at an AFR digital event, the National Infastructure Summit held at the Amora Jamison Hotel Sydney.

There is speculation that the changing of the CEO guard might be because the new owners, Bain Capital have a different view to Scurrah’s on what direction the resurrected airline should take. Scurrah wants to largely continue the direction already set, albeit with a reduced, simplified fleet and a lower cost base. Bain are reported to favour a more budget model which fits with Hdrlicka’s experience with Jetstar.

Anyway, the Transport Workers Union, sensing an anomaly, have withdrawn from wage negotiations until the matter is settled. Lets just say that Scurrah and Hrdlicka come from two different schools of wage negotiation methodologies.

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

We shall see.



    Bain Capital, would put its adviser and former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka in charge of Virgin, Ms Hrdlicka did a good job for Jet Star over the years she was CEO. Allen Joyce and the Qantas board were very happy with the financial results and would bring the same no nonsense to Virgin Australia.
    The TWU, which claims to also have the backing of the ASU, VIPA, and AMWU, said firing Scurrah could also mean the airline moves away from being a ‘hybrid’ and slides towards being a low-cost carrier, which would likely result in more job losses.

    The TWU and the above unions should realise there is a new owner of Virgin Australia it is called Bain Capital, it has a different way of doing business. They Bain and Jayne Hrdlicka would take the view with so many unemployed pilots, air hostess, ground staff ticketing and check in, porters.

    This is your contract and conditions you can take it or leave it .Remember Chris Corrigan is best known for the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute, in which he attempted to sack the heavily unionised workforce and replace it with strike-breakers, eventually leading to reform and restructuring of dockyard labour practices. Welcome to new world of doing business post Covid 19

    • 2paxfly

      My concern is the lack of transparency from Bain. They promised one thing – a Qantas domestic and eventually international competitor, and it now looks like they will deliver another – a mid to low cost domestic only carrier. If that is true, it means they have misled the unions, the Federal Government and the administrators.

      On Corrigan and Patricks, let’s remember that they actually lost the dispute in court to secretly terminate the MUA members and replace them with non-union labour. It is true however that reforms were negotiated with the MUA post the dispute.

      Some have argued that there is a direct link between the ugliness of the Patricks dispute and the election loss of the Howard Government caused by their WorkChoices campaign.


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