As Chief Commercial Officer, Virasb Vahidi has been a principal architect of building the new American Airlines, culminating in the merger with US Airways which is expected to close by fall 2013. His responsibilities include network and alliances, facilities and fleet planning, customer insights and loyalty, revenue management, sales, marketing, and communications.
Under Vahidi’s leadership, American has strengthened its presence in its hubs, expanded the reach of its global network, developed international joint ventures, and has broadened and deepened its alliances and oneworld partnerships. He also has led the modernization of American’s fleet with the industry’s largest-ever new aircraft order that in a few years will create the most modern, fuel-efficient fleet in the business. He has overseen innovations in every area from revenue management, with the introduction of new pricing products, to the redesign of the global sales organization to align more closely with customers.
Known for putting the customer at the center of all aspects of the customer experience, Vahidi has redesigned the customer journey with the introduction of industry leading services such as Flagship Check-in, and the upgrade of American’s international premium cabin experience. He has led the innovative design of cabin interiors for American’s new Boeing and Airbus fleet, including the new Boeing 777-300, so customers feel that travel is a continuation of their lifestyle rather than an interruption. Vahidi also has overseen the renewal of the AAdvantage program which has been recognized with 2013 Freddie awards for Airline Program of the Year, Best Elite Program and Best Airline Promotion.
Vahidi and his team created the first renewal of American’s iconic brand identity in over 40 years. The brand and agency teams were recognized with a 2013 CLIO award for corporate identity design, the first time an airline brand has received such recognition.
A veteran global flyer, Vahidi began his airline career at American in 1994. His early experience was in Planning. He subsequently served in roles of increasing responsibility in Revenue Management, Strategic Alliances, and Finance. He rejoined American as Senior Vice President–Planning in June 2009 and was named Chief Commercial Officer in 2010.
Vahidi’s diverse business and leadership experience also includes a stint at AT&T beginning in 2002 where he played senior roles in corporate strategy, planning and investor relations. He played a key role in crafting and executing the AT&T/SBC merger and integration. Following his tenure at AT&T, he served as Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Phorm, a London–based technology company.
Vahidi earned a Master of Business Administration in 1994 at Paris' Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées and a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences from the University of California – San Diego in 1988.