Travelbag has appointed Hayes & Jarvis boss Lesley Rollo to be its next managing director amid plans to more than double its high street shop network.

The dnata-owned tailor-made operator aims to open three shops a year over the next three years, growing from six to 15 stores.

These will include a new store in London to replace its High Street Kensington office and another in the north of England.

Rollo, managing director of Travelopia brands Hayes & Jarvis and Austravel, is tasked with spearheading “a new era” for Travelbag when she joins the operator in April. Travelbag’s website is also set to be overhauled.

John Bevan, chief executive of dnata Travel Europe, who has been seeking to fill the role since he took up his position last year, aims to take the 40-year-old company “back to its roots” as “a specialist, tailor‑made operator with a strong, high street presence”.

The company is targeting 50% growth in turnover over the next three years. Bevan said: “We have some very exciting plans for Travelbag in 2019, the brand’s 40th anniversary.

“I’m very pleased that from the spring, someone of Lesley’s calibre will be at the helm to lead the business into its next chapter.

“Lesley has an unrivalled pedigree, bags of energy and some invaluable experience – she’s a critical piece of the jigsaw and we’re all looking forward to her coming on board.”

He added: “Travelbag has been doing OK but it hasn’t been benefiting from the growth in the specialist holiday market; we are fixing that.”

The operator is known traditionally as a specialist to Australia and New Zealand.

Its branches are in Alton, Solihull, Cheltenham, Brighton, Knutsford and Winchester. It also has three call centres, in Preston, Solihull and Chester, and 12 homeworkers nationwide.

Travelbag became part of dnata in 2014 when dnata acquired Stella Travel Services.

Rollo joined Hayes & Jarvis in 2005. She previously worked for Thomas Cook and Airtours.

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