Travelport Appoints Former BA Exec To New Post

Travelport named former British Airways executive Ian Heywood head of strategic planning for global supplier services, a new position. Tasked with coordinating Travelport's four regional supplier relations leaders, Heywood is responsible for "execution of the company's global vision and strategy for its air, rail and cruise supplier customers." [more] He reports to Bryan Conway, global head of commercial operations and supplier services.

The new post was created "to ensure Travelport offers a consistent, global approach to airlines worldwide to help them maximize their yields and increase revenue streams through the GDS channel," according to a company statement. "Account management responsibility for individual airlines and supplier customers, including the renewal of full-content agreements, remains with regional heads."

Conway indicated that Heywood brings "a solid reputation for finding consensus between conflicting views and driving change," a trait that will be put to the test as Travelport attempts to navigate through a dispute with American Airlines.

In addition to his tenure at BA, Heywood also worked for Qantas and Qatar Airways, and led a consultancy that served Japan Airlines and Etihad. He made headlines in 2008 when he was preparing to leave his position as Qatar Airways senior manager of global sales and distribution for a post with U.K. carrier BMI, but was accused of industrial espionage and detained in Qatar for several months. He was cleared and permitted to leave.