Former airline boss takes helm at Yorkshire airport

The former chef executive of IAG low-cost brand Level is taking over as boss of Leeds Bradford airport (LBA).

Vincent Hodder takes up the position as chef executive on February 1 following a 20-year industry career including roles at Flybe, Jetstar Airways and VivaAerobus .

Current chief executive Hywel Rees will leave his role after a transition period, according to the airport.

Hodder said: “Our success at delivering excellence in customer service will be crucial in giving passengers the confidence to travel and to choose LBA, as well as in attracting new airlines that operate the most modern and efficient aircraft.

“I’m looking forward to leading the business as we face the short-term challenges of Covid and towards a sustainable long-term future, working collaboratively with businesses and stakeholders across the region, while continuing to progress the terminal replacement scheme through planning.”

Airport chairman Andy Clarke said: “As we look ahead to a post-Covid world, we remain fundamentally committed to improving customer experience, continuing to develop the airport to deliver a wider economic impact in the region and ensuring a sustainable future for LBA.

“I’m delighted to welcome Vincent into the role. His experience at low-cost players and network players, across business and leisure travel, brings a varied perspective as we seek to develop new relationships with airlines that share our vision for a responsible and efficient future, ensuring that we are ready for the return of demand in travel when the time is right.

“Hywel has been instrumental in developing the longer-term vision for LBA and has helped the airport to navigate through a challenging year for the aviation sector. I know Vincent shares my aspirations for the future of LBA and I’m excited to see how he will shape this.”

Rees initiated a planning application for the development of a replacement terminal to support future demand for the airport, while overseeing a number of enhancements to the existing operation to improve customer service and offer.

The plans for a replacement terminal, submitted to Leeds City Council in May, propose the construction of a three-floor building on an alternative site within the airport’s boundary.

If approved, the development will protect and create new jobs, supporting 12,650 permanent positions, and increase the airport’s contribution to the region’s economy from £377 million in 2019 to £869 million. 

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