Lyell Strambi Named New Melbourne Airport CEO

19th Aug 2015

Strambi, who the airport called a "really important state asset", will take on the role of the chief executive officer on 21st September. He plans to work closely with carriers, retail and service firms to appeal the airport's appeal to customers.

Strambi will also be responsible for overseeing the Launceston Airport, Tasmania (owned by APAC).

Speaking to Fairfax Media on Wednesday Strambi said:

"There is a huge program [of projects] on there already that has to be completed but Melbourne has got tremendous potential. It is an integral part of the state infrastructure. It is a privileged airport in that it has 24/7 access and it is a privilege we clearly won't take likely."

This Tuesday, the airport opened a new terminal (Terminal 4), which will be used by Tigerair Australia, Regional Express and Jetstar. So far, only Tigerair has started flying from this terminal, while the other two carriers will start using its facilities in the coming months.

While at Qantas, Strambi's main responsibility was dealing with airports. He was also seen as one of the biggest candidates at the time to replace the current CEO Alan Joyce.

After leaving the Australian airline, Strambi joined Virgin Atlantic, where his responsibilities included dealing with Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Speaking of Qantas, Strambi's former company is also in talks with Melbourne Airport to sell back the lease on the terminal it uses. The lease expires at the end of this decade.

The carrier sold back the lease on Sydney Airport back to the operator for a reported AUS$535 million. The lease was due to expire in 2019.

Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said the negotiations between the carrier and Melbourne Airport about selling the lease are in the early stages, but that there is "no rush".