Stobart Air, one of Europe’s leading franchise, ACMI and charter aviation specialists, has appointed Conor McCarthy as Non-Executive Chairman of its board.

Conor McCarthy has 39 years’ experience in the aviation industry, and has previously acted as CEO of Aer Lingus Commuter and as Director of Group Operations for Ryanair. Conor is currently Executive Chairman of Dublin Aerospace and Managing Director of PlaneConsult, which provides a range of consultancy services from airline start-ups to restructuring turnarounds to a range of airlines across the world since 2001.

In particular, Mr McCarthy is a co-founder of AirAsia, which was established in 2001 and is now Asia’s largest and most successful low-fares airline, with 210 aircraft and 65 million passengers a year.

In 2009, Mr McCarthy founded Dublin Aerospace where he remains Executive Chairman. He was awarded EY Irish Entrepreneur of the Year (2011) for the success of Dublin Aerospace, which recently announced the recruitment of another 150 skilled aerospace professionals.

Commenting on the appointment Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group said, “Stobart Air is a valuable part of our overall aviation strategy, which is focused on meeting the growing demand for increased capacity and improved customer experience. Stobart Air is already Europe’s largest ATR operator, and we will benefit greatly from Conor’s experience, contact base and independent advice, as we continue to grow our reputation for excellent customer service while maintaining a very low-cost base.”

Commenting on the announcement, Graeme Buchanan, Managing Director of Stobart Air said: “We are delighted to welcome Conor McCarthy as Chairman of our board. Conor has a wealth of experience in Irish and global aviation, and I believe he will greatly assist us in achieving our business goals for 2018 and into the future.”

“I look forward to working with the Board and Executive Team of Stobart Air”, said Conor McCarthy. The team of professionals at Stobart Air have already achieved a huge amount. They have a great reputation for the provision of a safe, efficient and reliable service throughout Ireland and the UK in addition to being a critical part of the Aer Lingus network and connecting hub at Dublin. It’s a real privilege to be asked to join that team”.

Stobart Air operates up to 860 flights weekly across 43 routes throughout 11 European countries from bases in the UK and Ireland.

Stobart Air operates under the Aer Lingus Regional brand as part of a franchise agreement with Ireland’s national carrier, Aer Lingus, as well as operating Flybe routes from London Southend Airport, and the Isle of Man. The airline employs over 570 people.