Paul Wait

Paul Wait

RedApple 7 Founder

Paul is a 47 year veteran of the travel industry who now has his own business, offering a range of services from business development to business transformation. His current clients are in the Travel and Technology sectors.

Memberships

Institute of Directors

Manchester Chamber of Co

Having started his career at American Express Travel in Liverpool as a trainee, his 27 year tenure saw him move from Liverpool to Manchester to Aberdeen where as the youngest ever manager at 24 years old he opened an office which became the second largest but most profitable in the UK inside a three year period. There then followed a move to London where in various operational roles he doubled the revenue at the largest Business Travel Centre and then became a Director responsible for the operation and profitability of Amex Travels top 10 customers. He was part of the implementation team that acquired Thomas Cook Business Travel and became Vice President Sales and Account Management UK/Ireland. From 1995-1999 he was part of a management team that took Amex to number 1 in the UK.

It was during this time that Richard Branson made several attempts to attract Paul to Virgin Atlantic which he eventually did in January 2000 when he became General Manager Sales, with the brief of introducing a new sales culture into the airline. During 13 years at Virgin Atlantic he became an icon in the UK airline industry having re-organised the sales team, introducing a unique method of sales and account management which was adopted globally, grew the third party channel despite the heavy investment in direct web sales, created and introduced new travel agency remuneration schemes, improved market share over capacity share, and played a major role in new route launches.

It was at this time that Paul became an active participant of the UK IATA APJC (Air Passenger Joint Committee) which he subsequently Chaired.

In 2012 he was then approached by the GTMC (Guild of Travel Management Companies), the business travel association representing the major TMC’s in the UK, and in January 2013 assumed the role of CEO. This was a significant business transformation task, repositioning a dying organisation into a well known and respected brand within the industry, not just in the UK but globally. Paul created a new brand and set of values and objectives and became a leading speaker and influencer on key industry matters. Membership grew and revenues from both Members and Industry Partners (suppliers) increased, funding better quality Conferences, research via Audiencenet and Oxford Economics and greater marketplace awareness. His role with the IATA APJC continued which led to him being appointed Chairman of the IATA’S Advisory Board on NDC (New Distribution Capability) on a global basis. In addition, he was a Committee Member of the ruling body of UK Railways called the Rail Delivery Group.

He was also the lead on behalf of the GTMC for lobbying the UK Government on issues such as APD (Air Passenger Duty), Rail Franchise Reformation, High Speed 2 and UK aviation capacity increase at Heathrow Airport.

Then in 2016 Paul was approached by Kuljinder Bahia (422nd UK Times Rich List) the owner of Southall Travel, a £600m company and 18th in the Times Top Track 200 and assumed the role of COO with the brief of being responsible for the B2B brands and creating a sports travel business. Within six months of starting STSports was created and the business travel and wholesale brands both increased sales by over 10%.

In 2019 Paul decided on a move that had been muted for some years and started up his own business RedApple 7.

Paul is also a Patron of the Eden Dora Trust for Child Encephalitis.

He has five grown up children, three grandchildren and family in the US spread across Texas, Louisiana and Alaska.

A keen sports fan Paul also likes to stay active in both the gym and on the golf course.

I am very proud to be a Patron of the Eden Dora Trust For Children with Encephalitis.

When I was approached by Phil Goldman who was President of Oldham Athletic Football Club at the time and told how his daughter had suffered I confess that I knew nothing about the condition and suspect that many people don’t. The Eden Dora Trust was set up by Petrina Goldman as a result of Eden becoming seriously ill with Encephalitis at the age of six years. Amongst many things the charity provides support for children and their families and carers affected by Childhood Encephalitis and the subsequent lifelong Acquired Brain Injury.

As well as support to help children and their families feel less isolated, different, misunderstood and alone, the charity raises awareness and funds research into the causes , diagnosis and treatments of Encephalitis.

For more information, or to get involved or to donate please go to https://edendoratrust.org