Aer Lingus has announced the appointment of a new CEO as the airline deals with a potential takeover from British Airways parent company IAG.

Stephen Kavanagh will join the Irish carrier in March as CEO and executive director.

Kavanagh joined Aer Lingus in 1988, in 2009 he served the airline as chief commercial officer and his most recent role was as chief strategy and planning officer.

The current CEO and executive director Christoph Mueller will step down on February 28.

The announcement comes as Aer Lingus is currently in negotiations with IAG and the Irish government over a €1.36 billion bid.

The carrier said on Friday (February 13) if a takeover was completed it would deliver “significant benefits” for Aer Lingus, its employees, customers and for Ireland.

In a statement Aer Lingus said after “further detailed discussion” it now has a greater understanding of IAG’s intenetions. It also added Ireland would become a hub for connections, while the deal would accelerate Aer Lingus’s planned transatlantic growth and create new jobs.

Before a deal can be completed it must be approved by the Irish government, which owns a 25 per cent stake in the airline.

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