Former Travel Republic director Chris Roche has joined online travel agent Loveholidays.com as chief commercial officer.
Roche left Travel Republic last year and initially joined Eysys and Comtec founder Simon Powell to spearhead the re-launch of Powell’s website Travel.co.uk.
Roche parted ways with Powell in December and started at LoveHolidays.com in March as chief commercial officer, working alongside chief executive Alex Francis and chief operating officer Jonny Marsh.
Regarding his new appointment, Roche said: “Loveholidays.com is growing fast and I’m delighted to be given an opportunity to join the team and hopefully add value.”
Roche was part of the management team at Travel Republic from 2007 where, alongside managing directors Paul Furner and Kane Pirie, they rapidly grew the business before a sale to Emirates owned dnata in December 2011.
Roche said he saw similarities between LoveHolidays and Travel Republic as they were both tech-driven OTAs which have built their own search capability, with Roche stating the tech at LoveHolidays was “unique” and would “power the aggressive and efficient growth” of the OTA.
Roche said he remains on good terms with both Iain Andrew of dnata and with Powell of Travel.co.uk.
“It was a difficult decision to leave the Travel.co.uk project but I wish Simon, Humphrey [Sheil, Eysys chief executive] and the team the very best for future and I am pleased we parted on good terms”.
LoveHolidays.com reported profits of more than £70million in September – with 19% of bookings made through repeat customers.