Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon will join his Etihad Airways counterpart, James Hogan, and take a seat on Virgin Australia's board, allowing them to exert more control over the airline.
The appointment will raise the stakes in the battle for the domestic market against Qantas Airways, which has bitterly complained about Virgin's deep-pocketed foreign owners.
Tougher competition from Virgin has hurt Qantas's profitability.
Virgin invited representatives from Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways onto its board following its A$350 million ($373 million) capital raising last month.
The raising boosted the three airlines' stakes in Virgin to 67 per cent from 63 per cent.
Luxon will take up the seat "once the appropriate protocols are put in place", a spokesman said.