Former MyTravel boss Phil Aird-Mash returns to Thomas Cook

Former MyTravel boss Phil Aird-Mash has rejoined Thomas Cook as chief executive of its independent businesses.

Aird-Mash has taken on responsibility for the group’s scheduled, specialist, accommodation-only and Essentials businesses, working alongside retail chief executive Ian Derbyshire and mainstream chief executive Ian Ailles.

He rejoined Thomas Cook last month, nearly four years after leaving the business to help with the restructure of XL Leisure group with former MyTravel charter tour operations deputy managing director Steve Barrass.

Aird-Mash, who was XL's UK and deputy group chief executive for a year between 2008-2009, stayed on at XL to help administrators when the company collapsed with debts of £143 million in September 2008.

Prior to XL, Aird-Mash worked for MyTravel, previously Airtours UK Leisure Group, in various roles for 12 years since leaving university. Roles included charter tour operations managing director of MyTravel UK from 2005 to 2008 and Airtours managing director from 2004-2005.

Both Aird-Mash and Barrass stayed on at the company to help with its merger with Thomas Cook in 2007 under the new group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa.

At the time, Fontenla-Novoa told delegates at the Institute of Travel and Tourism conference: "I’ve been trying to recruit these guys for the last four to five years - now I’ve got them I’m not going to let them go."

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