Aer Lingus boss to step down after four years at the helm

Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh is to step down in January after four years at the helm of the Irish airline.

The carrier’s owner, International Airlines Group (IAG), said he will be succeeded by Sean Doyle, who is currently director of network, fleet and alliances at fellow IAG-owned group British Airways.

Mr Kavanagh will remain on the airline’s board as a non-executive director after handing over the reins on January 1.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive and Aer Lingus chairman, said: “Stephen has been an exceptional chief executive and has transformed and modernised Aer Lingus.

“After a 30-year career, he has decided to step down. We wish him all the very best for the future and heartfelt thanks for all his outstanding achievements.”

After a 30-year career in Aer Lingus, with the last four years as chief executive, I’ve taken the decision to step down to pursue other interests

Mr Kavanagh said: “After a 30-year career in Aer Lingus, with the last four years as chief executive, I’ve taken the decision to step down to pursue other interests.”

Incoming boss Mr Doyle, who is originally from Cork, has worked at British Airways since 2003.

His previous roles at the group have spanned financial, strategy, commercial and alliance, before he joined the executive management committee in 2016.

Mr Walsh said Mr Doyle was “ideally suited” to lead Aer Lingus.

Dublin-based Aer Lingus saw operating profits surge 51% to €104m in the first half of 2018.

Aer Lingus was bought by IAG in 2015 for €1.3bn, which saw low-cost rival Ryanair sell its near 30% stake to the BA owner.

- Press Association

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