Former Virgin Nigeria chief Conrad Clifford is returning to the UK to take up the role of Emirates UK and Ireland vice-president from September. He is replacing Vic Sheppard, who is retiring after 13 years with Emirates.
Clifford, 51, has just spent four years with Virgin Nigeria, but 49% shareholder Virgin Atlantic is now looking to withdraw Virgin Nigeria's group branding and its day-to-day involvement with the African carrier.
Although Virgin Nigeria was due to drop its Virgin brand from 7 July, its website remains unchanged. Back in June several new names were being considered for the rebrand, inlcuding 'Nigerian Eagle' and 'Air Nigeria'. Clifford's successor at the Nigerian carrier is Dapo Olumide.
Clifford began his aviation career as a trainee with Cathay Pacific. He then joined Virgin Atlantic, where he held roles as UK general manager - commercial, and commercial director. In 2002, he became commercial director of Menzies Aviation Group, rising to director, Asia, South Pacific and Africa. He returned to Virgin in 2005 to oversee the establishment of Virgin Nigeria.
Emirates operates 14 daily non-stop flights from the UK to Dubai. It flies from Heathrow (five times daily), London Gatwick (thrice-daily), Manchester and Birmingham (twice-daily), plus Newcastle and Glasgow (daily).