International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that Aer Lingus CEO Stephen Kavanagh will step down in January after four years in the role.

Kavanagh, who will stay on as a non-executive director of the Irish airline, will be succeeded by Sean Doyle, currently director of network, fleet and alliances at British Airways.

Doyle will take up his new role on 1 January 2019.

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, commented: “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. We’re delighted that Stephen will remain on Aer Lingus’ board and provide advice and guidance to the airline.”

Kavanagh added: “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. By an objective measure Aer Lingus has been successful in recent years and continues to have significant opportunity to build upon the strong fundamentals of our value model. I’d like to thank all those who have provided support and guidance during my time in Aer Lingus. I look forward to working with Sean as he transitions into his new role and wish him and all my colleagues continued success.”

Doyle joined BA in 1998 and has since held various roles in financial, strategy, commercial and alliance. He was appointed to the carrier’s executive management committee in 2016.

Walsh continued: “Sean has successfully held a variety of roles within British Airways, acquiring significant expertise and experience, which makes him ideally suited to lead Aer Lingus. I am pleased that Aer Lingus chief operating officer Mike Rutter has extended his contract and will work with Sean to ensure that the airline continues to deliver its strong performance.”

Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!