Aer Lingus names Stephen Kavanagh new chief executive amid IAG takeover bid

Lynsey Barber
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A new chief executive is checking in at Aer Lingus (Source: Getty)

A new chief executive will take over the pilot's seat at Aer Lingus as the budget airline negotiates a potential takeover by British Airways owner IAG.

Stephen Kavanagh has been handed the top job, replacing outgoing Christoph Mueller who disembarks the Irish airline at the end of February to board beleaguered carrier Malaysia Airlines as chief executive.

Kavanagh, Aer Lingus’s chief strategy and planning officer, has been with the carrier since 1988 and had been in the frame as Mueller’s successor.

Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington said he was “particularly pleased that it has been possible and appropriate for an internal Aer Lingus executive to succeed to the position of CEO” and that Kavanagh has helped transform the carrier into a strong profitable airline with a resilient business model and improved cost base.

Aer Lingus has rejected several takeover bids by IAG but the latest offer of €2.90 per share has been recommended in a letter to shareholders.

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