A change at the top of Ryanair sees Eddie Wilson become chief executive of its main airline business.

He will report directly to Michael O’Leary who took on a new role of group chief executive overseeing all of the Irish budget airline’s brands earlier this year.

Wilson steps up from the role of chief people officer, where he has led union negotiations for the past two years.


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But his appointment comes as some UK pilots belonging to the British Airline Pilots Association are due to strike for three days this week

Members of its Spanish cabin crew union are holding ten days of walkouts throughout September.

In a memo to staff on Friday, O’Leary said that Wilson had “made a huge contribution” to Ryanair’s success since he joined the low-cost carrier in 1997.

Over this period, Ryanair has grown from carrying three million passengers a year to more than 150 million.

He said he hoped Wilson will build on the “successful improvements” that the airline has delivered over the past 12 months, particularly as the carrier navigates “very difficult times”, pointing to Brexit, delivery delays of Boeing 737 Max aircraft and having to close some bases because of slower growth.

Wilson’s appointment comes six months after Ryanair announced that it would move to a “group structure not dissimilar to that of IAG”, owner of British Airways and Iberia, with a small senior management team overseeing subsidiaries.

In the new role as head of Ryanair Holdings, O’Leary oversees the chief executives of the main Ryanair carrier, as well as Laudamotion in Asutria, Buzz in Poland and Malta Air.

O’Leary will be chief executive of Ryanair Holdings until at least 2024.

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