The former chief operating officer of easyJet is to take charge of transport and property firm Stobart Group.
Warwick Brady joined the group earlier this year as deputy group chief executive of the company responsible for Southend and Carlisle airports and regional carrier Stobart Air.
He is taking the helm in June from current chief executive Andrew Tinkler, who is stepping down after ten years to head Stobart Capital, a new independent “value creation unit”.
Tinkler will continue as an executive board member of the group.
Brady was previously deputy operations director at Ryanair and deputy chief executive of Buzz following its acquisition from KLM.
He has known Tinkler for a number of years due to easyJet’s relationship with Southend airport.
The under-used Essex airport is seen as having potential to grow within capacity-squeezed London-area airports ahead of a third runway being opened at Heathrow.
“Warwick’s appointment provided the group with further aviation expertise and broader management capability,” the company said.
“Andrew will continue as an executive board member, giving the Board continued access to his input at group level.
“He will also chair a newly formed independent business, Stobart Capital, which will aim to deliver value creation opportunities, both to the group, and to other investors.”
Chairman Iain Ferguson said: “The establishment of Stobart Capital will allow us to fully harness our entrepreneurial skills and identify new value creating opportunities.
“I would like to thank Andrew for his unique and tireless contribution to the group over the past ten years, and I look forward to working with Andrew and Warwick in their new roles.”
Revealing a 49% rise in pre-tax group profits for the year to February 28, Tinkler said: “A London airport that has technical capacity to handle 10 million-plus passengers, 45 minutes from London, will over time be a very valuable asset for the group.
“We have consolidated our regional airline and aircraft leasing businesses, taking full ownership, and will continue to develop our valuable long-term franchise with Aer Lingus as well as support Flybe in the Isle of Man and from our Southend airport.”
Eleven new routes were established from Southend operated by Stobart Air under the Flybe brand which are due to deliver up to 300,000 extra passengers by 2018.
Brady said: “The key to the value creation is our London airport becoming part of the answer to London’s travel growth within the airport systems.
“The on-going London airport capacity constraints will mean our London airport, with its great train links 45 minutes from London, will be an opportunity for the capital’s travel market to grow.”
He added: :Our regional airline Stobart Air, based in Dublin, operates under a valuable long-term franchise with Aer Lingus which we believe will be an important support for IAG’s focus on growing its transatlantic traffic through the Dublin hub.
“Stobart Air also operates for Flybe and, in the future, will operate regional jets under the Flybe brand to support the growth of our London airport.
“Our aircraft leasing business, Propius, supports Stobart Air and together they will be developed to create more value for the group.
“From my perspective, the UK and Europe’s regional airline market would benefit from some type of consolidation to ensure the capacity supports profitable regional connectivity.”
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