The boss of Stansted is moving to take a role at parent company Manchester Airports Group.

Andrew Harrison, who has led Stansted since MAG’s acquisition of the airport three years ago, will assume the role of chief strategy officer based in Manchester.

Current chief strategy officer, Andrew Cowan, will switch places and become divisional chief executive of Stansted from April 1.

Cowan was previously chief operating officer of MAG and managing director of Manchester airport.

Harrison will head a new function tasked with defining MAG’s digital strategy and e-commerce business model.

The ‘MAG-online’ proposition will also enable the improvement of customer service and airport efficiency, and expand the company’s profitable products and services portfolio outside of the group.

Commercial trading, e-commerce and CRM will sit within this area function in addition to group strategy and corporate development.

MAG chief executive, Charlie Cornish, said: “Since MAG acquired London Stansted, Andrew Harrison has done a fantastic job of driving growth at the airport and integrating it into the wider group.

“Andrew Cowan is hugely experienced and I am confident that he will continue to build on the great foundations that exist at Stansted.

“The airport has even greater potential and there is a clear and pressing need to improve its rail links in order to enable it to take the strain as other London airports reach capacity and before any new runway can be built in the south east.”

Cowan said: “It’s a hugely exciting time in the aviation industry and I feel privileged to be taking on the role of divisional CEO at London Stansted airport.

“Andrew Harrison has delivered phenomenal growth and a significant investment programme which has seen passengers and airlines voting with their feet and choosing Stansted.

“I’m looking forward to building on the strong foundations left by Andrew, continuing the drive to attract new airlines to serve the vibrant London market and burgeoning eastern England region and further improving the customer experience.”

Harrison said: “I’m very proud of what the Stansted team has achieved over the last three years. We have taken the airport through a significant transformation programme, returned passenger numbers back close to their previous peak and rebuilt our relationships with the local community.

“The airport has a very promising future ahead and I wish Andrew every success in taking forward the next chapter in Stansted’s journey.

“I am delighted to have been appointed chief strategy officer and lead MAG’s push into new markets. The opportunities for innovative companies like ours are endless and we have a great opportunity to become a leader in airport management, digital products and services.”