Virgin Atlantic has restructured its government and industry affairs unit in the wake of the departure of manager Edmund Rose.
Rose left the Virgin group subsidiary this week to take up a newly-created head of regulatory and political affairs post at British Airways.
Following his move, the Virgin Atlantic department is being expanded from three to four positions.
Australian Vanessa Tamms has joined fresh from receiving a PhD in airline regulation to handle day-to-day government and industry issues with a further appointment expected within the next month.
Rose is not being directly replaced but the new recruit, Tamms and existing public affairs officer Georgina Graham will share his role. The three report to the airline's director of external affairs and route development, Barry Humphries.
'Public affairs is a vital part of business management in the airline industry because it is such a heavily regulated sector. We have 20 routes but could have plenty more that we know would be profitable if we got approval for them,' said Virgin Atlantic head of PR, Paul Moore.
Virgin Atlantic continues to use Politics International for public affairs advice.
The account team is led by agency MD Andrew Dunlop. This relationship is not thought to be under immediate threat.
Rose starts later this month at British Airways. He will report to Andrew Cahn, director of government and industry affairs.
Cahn joined the company last year (PRWeek, 3 March 2000) after 20 years as a civil servant, including three running European Commission vice-president Neil Kinnock's private office.