Budget airline Duo axes team as it goes bust

Duo, the budget airline that collapsed last week after running out of cash, has axed its five-person marketing team headed by interim sales and marketing director Rob Rees and head of marketing Duncan Osborne.

Duo launched in November offering business-class services at economy prices, but the airline went into administration on Saturday leaving hundreds of travellers stranded at airports across Europe.

Rees joined the airline in January from Orange with a brief to increase sales. He claims seat sales rose to 40,000 in April from 18,000 in previous months. But he says the company was let down by a private equity investor, which failed to deliver a promised £4m cash injection last month.

“I’ve been successful and doubled sales, but it wasn’t enough,” says Rees. He adds that the airline’s £1m marketing budget was insufficient to take on established airlines. However, he believes Duo’s strategy of combining budget prices with in-flight services was ahead of its time, and he calls it “the future of aviation”.

Before Orange, Rees worked at Campbell’s and he has held senior marketing positions at Vodafone and Pepsi.

About 260 Duo staff are being made redundant, leaving a small team of senior managers – thought to include chief executive Peter Spencer – to help administrators Deloitte wind up the business.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here