Kathryn Robertson aiming to win back trade favour for Qantas

The Flying Kangaroo’s new Executive Manager of Global Sales and Distribution brings with it a goal of appeasing disenfranchised agents, as MATT LENNON reports.

Qantas is on a mission to reset trade relationships and woo back travel agents unhappy at the carrier’s recent commission cuts and has made a key hire to help.

Highly experienced Sales and Marketing professional, Kathryn Robertson, will soon join the Flying Kangaroo as its new Executive Manager of Global Sales and Distribution, tasked with overseeing the trade as just one of Qantas’ domestic and international sales channels.

No stranger to the airline game, Robertson brings 30 years of sales and marketing experience to her new role, including more than 15 years with Air New Zealand and several more with former British carrier BMI.

More recently, Robertson has been working with Carnival Australia as its Chief Commercial Officer, with her major achievements including helping to restart global campaigns and sales activity for its suite of nine global cruise brands.

In her new role, Robertson will also work closely with Qantas’ Regional General Managers in its overseas markets, a role she once held herself for Air New Zealand, based in Australia.

At Qantas, Robertson replaces Igor Kwiatkowski, who moved within the company last year to head up the Qantas Freight division.

Reporting to Qantas International CEO, Cam Wallace, Robertson’s duties will also include working to reset Qantas’ relationship with the Australian travel trade, which has suffered setbacks in recent years due to in the wake of cuts to Qantas commissions on trade bookings.

Speaking to travelBulletin, Robertson described herself as a “seasoned airline professional” but that she wasn’t intimidated about making tough decisions which are “part and parcel of a role of this size and scope”.

“It’s nice from a trade perspective because I’ll still be working with a lot of the same partners that I’ve worked with in this role [at Carnival],” Robertson said.

Carnival Australia Interim boss, Peter Little, said he wished Robertson all the best at Qantas.

“We thank Kathryn for the contribution she’s made to Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises, including the highly successful Brings Us All Together campaign,” Little said.

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