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Our Team

We are Connect Airlines. Our team is comprised of Aviation leaders and enthusiasts who share a common passion - to work and fly smarter. Ideals which steer our culture are comradery, flexibility, drive, excellence, and meaningful care for one another. We manifest what matters, and we've been listening.

 

In our ever-changing world facing times like no other, what we offer above the rest is simple: safety, service, convenience and reliability. Our founding team has over 150+ collective years of airline experience and have come together to launch a smarter airline, Connect.

John Thomas

Chief Executive Officer

  • Highly respected, value-creating and innovation-oriented global aviation leader with over four decades of hands-on experience

  • Launched his first regional airline in the 1970s in Australia

  • CEO of Virgin Australia Airlines, Australia's No.2 airline carrying >20M pax/year ~US$4B turnover, where he initiated successful turnaround reducing costs by >$350M/year while increasing premium market share and overall revenues through the introduction of new products (e.g., first domestic premium economy, wifi etc.)

  • Trusted partner and senior advisor to many of the world’s leading airlines including advising United Airlines through Chapter 11 (and subsequent United/Continental Airlines merger); the mergers between Delta and Northwest Airlines, and Alaska and Virgin America; successful turnarounds of Thai Airways and Philippine Airlines; and the sales force restructuring for British Airways, Qantas and Cathay Pacific that became industry standard

  • Created the “airline ancillary revenue" cash stream that now earns $20+B annually for the US airline industry that was credited with saving the US Airline Industry

  • Established successful highly lucrative JVs between major airlines (e.g., Delta/Virgin Atlantic, Delta/AeroMexico)

  • Enhanced the profitability of Delta and United Frequent Flyer programs with basis change from miles to revenue accrual

  • Serves on Boards of Icelandair and SkyService (largest corporate aviation provider in Canada); Chair of both Safety Committees

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Executive Leadership