MyTravel revives comms director role one year on

Troubled holiday firm MyTravel is planning to resurrect the group level communications director role it axed just 12 months ago as part of a cost-cutting drive.

At least one headhunting firm is understood to have been taken on to fill the senior management vacancy, which was last held by Anita McErlean.

The firm, Britain's largest tour operator and formerly known as Airtours, faces a rumoured £400m takeover bid, and has seen a plunge in share price on top of the resignation of its CEO Tim Byrne.

A MyTravel insider said of the communications director role: 'We've missed having somebody in the role. We've had a difficult few months and our city PR has not been good. There is a need to appoint someone senior.'

The need for the firm to boost its PR is a view shared by industry peers.

A spokeswoman for the Association of Independent Tour Operators said the creation of an extra senior level post was no indication of a revival in the sector: 'It's more a need to spin itself out of a mire. Airtours recognises that it has to keep the City on its side.'

Since McErlean's departure PR has been overseen by corporate relations head Helen Wailes.

The rumoured takeover bid for the firm, which saw shares plummet by 36 per cent late last month, is understood to involve several American leisure companies, including the company behind the Avis car hire brand, Cendant.

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