The Virgin Australia Group today announced the appointment of Karl Schuster as Chief Executive Officer of its loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer.
Mr Schuster brings 30 years’ experience in loyalty and marketing to the Group, having most recently held the role of President Asia Pacific at Aimia Inc., one of the world’s leading marketing and loyalty analytics companies. He will commence with Velocity Frequent Flyer on 1 October 2015.
Virgin Australia Group Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said: “Velocity Frequent Flyer now has a strong membership base of over five million, a wide range of program partners and benefits, and a flight network of more than 600 destinations worldwide. It is a key growth business for the Virgin Australia Group and we are focused on fast-tracking this growth to drive value for members and shareholders.
“I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Karl Schuster to the role of CEO, to lead the business in its next phase of growth. Karl’s extensive background in loyalty and marketing, together with his strong leadership experience, will prove invaluable to Velocity and the Virgin Australia Group,” Mr Borghetti said.
Mr Schuster served as the Managing Director of Carlson Marketing Group Australia and New Zealand based in Sydney between 2001 and 2006. In 2006 he was promoted to President of the Asia Pacific region. Following the acquisition of Carlson Marketing by Aimia in late 2009, he was re-located to Singapore to oversee the development of Aimia's business in Asia where he led the implementation of some of the largest and most successful loyalty programs across the airline, financial services and retail sectors as well as leading a number of Aimia investment initiatives in the region. Prior to moving to Australia, Schuster spent ten years with the Ogilvy Group, culminating in leading the OgilvyOne business in Cape Town, South Africa.
Mr Schuster has worked on four continents in leadership roles and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin in 1984.