Emerald Airlines has appointed Keith Butler as the carrier’s new chief executive from March succeeding its founder Conor McCarthy, who becomes executive chairman.
Over the last five years he led CAE Parc Aviation, and previously held senior management positions with Aer Lingus across commercial, planning and HR, including the role of chief planning & strategy officer. Additionally, Butler was heavily involved in the Aer Lingus transatlantic business model and the successful development of the Irish flag carrier’s Dublin hub.
McCarthy said: “Keith brings unmatched experience and expertise to our business and has a proven track record as an established leader within the industry – exactly what is needed to propel Emerald Airlines to its next stage of growth. With Keith’s background in commercial, planning, and strategy, alongside his capabilities in driving growth and innovation, he is extremely well positioned to lead the next chapter in the evolution of Emerald Airlines. I look forward to supporting and working alongside Keith as he leads this wonderful airline to new heights, building on the progress that this amazing team have achieved thus far.”
Also commenting on his upcoming role as Emerald Airlines’ CEO, Keith Butler, said: “I look forward to leading the team who have delivered on Emerald’s successful start-up and building on the solid foundations that have already been established. In the months ahead, I will work closely with them to drive the business forward, increasing routes, passenger numbers, and profitability.”
McCarthy’s move to Executive Chairman will allow him to spend more time on strategic opportunities in the sector and work even more closely with Emerald’s IAG partners, especially Aer Lingus and British Airways. McCarthy also serves as Executive Chairman of Dublin Aerospace, an aviation MRO company, which is growing rapidly.
Dublin-based Emerald Airlines is Ireland’s newest regional carrier and the exclusive operator of the Aer Lingus Regional route network. The airline offers a range of solutions including, franchise, wet-lease and private charter flying. Emerald Airlines currently operates Aer Lingus Regional flights from both Dublin and Belfast City airports with over 540 weekly flights on 20 routes to and from 16 airports including Bristol, Birmingham, Exeter, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Newquay and others. By summer 2023, the carrier will operate over 580 weekly flights across 25 routes. Emerald has also established an airline company in Northern Ireland (Emerald Airlines UK Ltd) and has applied to the UK CAA for a UK AOC and Operating Licence.