Emerald Airlines, Ireland’s newest airline and the largest operator out of Belfast City Airport, today announces the appointment of Keith Butler as incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with effect from March 2023. Butler will succeed Emerald Airlines’ Founder, Conor McCarthy, who will take the position of Executive Chairman.
With over 15 years in the aviation industry, Butler brings a wealth of experience to Emerald Airlines. From his most recent role leading CAE Parc Aviation over the last 5 years in aviation related activity, to his long-standing journey with Aer Lingus, Butler held Senior Management positions across multiple functions at the Irish flag carrier, including Commercial, Planning and HR including the role of Chief Planning & Strategy Officer.
Most notably, Butler was heavily involved in the Aer Lingus Transatlantic Business Model that saw Aer Lingus successfully develop its Dublin Hub. Emerald Airlines, exclusive franchise partner for Aer Lingus’ Regional network, plans to transit over 250,000 passengers via Aer Lingus’ Dublin Hub during 2023.
Commenting on the announcement, Conor McCarthy, Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted to warmly welcome Keith Butler to Emerald Airlines. 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.”
McCarthy’s move to the Executive Chairman role will enable him to spend more time on the strategic opportunities in the sector and work closely with Emerald’s partner airlines in IAG, particularly Aer Lingus and British Airways. McCarthy is also Executive Chairman of Dublin Aerospace, the aviation maintenance company, which is also going through a significant period of growth and development.
Succeeding McCarthy, Butler will focus on the continued growth of the airline, providing safe, friendly, and efficient air travel between Ireland, the UK, and beyond.
Commenting on his appointment, Keith Butler said: “I am delighted to be joining the great team at Emerald Airlines. 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.”
Emerald Airlines exclusively operates Aer Lingus Regional flights from Dublin and Belfast City Airport, and by Summer 2023 will fly over 580 flights per week across 25 routes.