A new finance chief with a strong aviation background has been recruited by Stobart Group.

The aviation, energy and civil engineering business – owner of Southend airport and part of the Connect Airways consortium alongside Virgin Atlantic which rescued Flybe from potential collapse – named Lewis Girdwood as chief financial officer.

He was previously CFO to IAG Cargo, which provides global cargo services to British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and other IAG airlines.

Prior to that, Girdwood was head of financial planning and analysis at easyJet, responsible for financial business partnering across the budget airline.

He has also held senior finance roles at Premier Foods, British Bakeries and Racal Electronics Group International.

As a result, Stobart Group interim CFO Michael Williamson will step down from his position following a short handover.

CEO Warwick Brady, an ex-easyJet chief operating officer, said: “I am delighted that Lewis is joining Stobart Group. He will bring a wealth of relevant experience as we continue to implement our ambitious growth plans and provide the framework to deliver the company’s strategy.

“I also want to thank Michael Williamson for his support over the last six months, during which time we have reported growth in our operating divisions, secured new debt facilities and successfully bid for the assets of Flybe.”