Online transfer specialist Ski-Lifts has appointed industry veteran John McEwan as chairman.

McEwan has held a string of senior roles in the industry including UK managing director at Thomas Cook, retail director at Tui UK, and chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership. He was also chairman of Abta for four years from 2009.

His appointment to the role follows investment in the Manchester-based company, which has sister brands Golf-Drives and Sea-Lifts, to support its growth into new areas.

Founded in 2003, the company started off providing airport transfers from Geneva Airport to Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets, on one minibus. It now has more than 100,000 passengers per season, offering transfers to resorts in 29 countries from more than 143 airports in Europe, north Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the US. It works with tour operators and travel agents.

McEwan has been appointed to help identify growth opportunities for the business in future.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to this new role, particularly at such a key time in the company’s development.  Airport transfers are an important component of the holiday experience and the reassurance of knowing you have safe, reliable transfers when you arrive at your destination airport can’t be underestimated.

“Ski-Lifts, along with the sister brands, has achieved impressive growth in the past 15 years.  They have a dynamic team on board and I believe there is great potential for further expansion.  I look forward to working with them to identify other high-growth vertical sectors to develop into.’

Richard Smith, managing director of Ski-Lifts, said the overall airport transfer market was estimated to be worth £17.1 billion by 2023. He said: “We are now well placed to take full advantage of this.”

He added: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of John’s stature in the industry to our business.  His leadership, advice and expertise will be invaluable as we look to expand and develop the company into new areas.  Following on from the recent investment, we can now explore a wealth of new opportunities that were previously out of our reach. “

McEwan is also chairman of Holidaysplease, EFR Travel, Amber Road Travel and Latin Routes. He is also chairman of the advisory board of Travel Ledger.