Uni honours Strabane high flier

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A Strabane woman who runs Britain’s third largest airline is to be honoured by the University of Ulster.

Chris Browne, the Managing Director of Thomson Airways, will this summer be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) at a graduation ceremony at Derry’s Magee campus.

The Strabane native is seen as a high flier in aviation circles.

She joined First Choice in 1999 where she established Travel Choice Direct, before becoming Managing Director of Retail and Direct and then Managing Director of First Choice Airways.

After overseeing the merger of ThomsonFly and First Choice Airways in September 2007, she embarked on her current role and oversees an airline with 60 plus aircraft, flying from 22 UK airports to more than 80 destinations across the world.

During her time at Thomson Airways, Chris has developed the airline’s customer service strategy and significantly increased customer satisfaction ratings, putting it at the top of the charter sector punctuality league tables for the second year running.

Chris has worked in travel for over 25 years, starting her career at Iberia Airlines where she became the youngest and first woman to hold a Director’s position outside of Spain.

A graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, Ms Browne will join Liverpool Football Club manager Kenny Dalglish, US Open champion Graeme McDowell, broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan and actress Susan Lynch in being honoured by the University of Ulster.