Former Tui and Thomas Cook director Kathryn Darbandi has become managing director of Caledonian Sleeper.

She takes up the new role in January after working for Barrhead Travel owner Travel Leaders Group, which she joined a year ago alongside other ex-Thomas Cook bosses Chris Mottershead and Nicki Tempest-Mitchell.

Caledonian Sleeper, the overnight rail service between London and Scotland, is run by international services company and transport specialist Serco.

Two routes are operated – the Lowlander runs to the capital from Glasgow and Edinburgh, while the Highlander route travels between Aberdeen, Fort William, Inverness and London.

John Whitehurst, managing director of Serco’s transport business said: “We are delighted that Kathryn is joining us to be the new managing director of the Caledonian Sleeper service.

“She brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the travel business, with a strong focus on leadership and customers.

“With the new carriages successfully introduced into service, Kathryn comes on board at an exciting time as we continue to develop the service for our passengers.

“She will succeed Ryan Flaherty who has taken up a new role in another Serco business unit.  He has done a tremendous job over the past few years overseeing the introduction of the fleet of new carriages, which has been very challenging.”

Darbandi added: “I am delighted to be taking up this new role. The Caledonian Sleeper is a world class service with a first class team of people and I am excited at the prospects for the service over the coming years.”