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Virgin Australia snares top Perth Qantas executive

Virgin Australia’s regional business has pulled off a major coup in luring Network Aviation’s chief operating officer Nathan Miller to head its rejuvenated Perth-based operation.

In an email to staff, seen by WestBusiness, Virgin Australia’s chief strategy & transformation officer Alistair Hartley says Mr Miller is taking over as executive general manager at Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.

Mr Miller has a long history within the aviation sector starting his career as a pilot with Ansett.

Since the demise of Ansett, Mr Miller has worked for Qantas, Jetstar and Network Aviation, which operates QantasLink, in various operational and management roles.

“He [Mr Miller] brings over 20 years of experience and a deep understanding of airline operations and transformation,” Mr Hartley told staff.

“We look forward to welcoming Nathan in 2022.”

WestBusiness understands that Mr Miller will first see out his contract obligations to Qantas and join Virgin next year.

He replaces Mark Davey, who is relocating back to NSW to be closer to his family.

“Mark’s leadership has been critical to VARA’s success and platform for growth and we are working closely with him on other opportunities within the Group, Mr Hartley said.

The appointment of Mr Miller further reinforces Bain Capital’s commitment to VARA after some doubts it would retain the profitable business after the rescue of its parent last year.

Since that time VARA has ordered two more 180-seat Airbus A320s for its fleet to cater for growing demand from the resources sector.

The new additions will lift VARA’s fleet of A320s to seven, complementing its 11 100-seat Fokker 100s.

In October, when announcing the additional aircraft, Mr Hartley said “VARA’s business is going from strength to strength.”

“Importantly, these aircraft will provide additional capacity for our existing customers and help the Virgin Australia Group continue to expand and compete in the WA resources sector.”

Mr Miller brings a deep understanding of the resource industry to VARA that will help its growth plans.

Since transferring from Jetstar to lead Network Aviation in 2017 he has grown the airline’s fleet from 17 to 29 aircraft.

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