Flybe poaches Andrew McConnell from easyJet

EasyJet's head of UK corporate and public affairs Andrew McConnell has joined rival airline Flybe as it looks to bounce back from a difficult few years.

Andrew McConnell: formerly at easyJet
Andrew McConnell: formerly at easyJet

McConnell steps into the role of director of communications and public affairs after more than five-and-a-half years at easyJet, where he was responsible for public affairs, corporate social responsibility and media relations.

His arrival to replace Niall Duffy is one of a number of senior appointments announced this week and follows Flybe hiring former easyJet chief commercial officer Saad Hammad last year to help turn the company’s fortunes around. 

Having tapped investors for £150m earlier this year, Flybe is looking to bounce back after being hit by a stalling in domestic air travel, with Hammad also looking to cut costs by £26m this year.

Paul Simmons, chief commercial officer at Flybe, said: "[McConnell] is a highly effective and driven communications professional with a proven track record of delivering high-profile and innovative work. As we continue to deliver on our turnaround plan and enter a new era of growth, Andrew’s role will be invaluable to our success."

McConnell said: "Flybe represents an exciting challenge and an enormous opportunity: this is a business whose transformation is well under way and which has enormous potential to grow exponentially as it becomes Europe’s best regional airline."

Other senior hires announced by Flybe include the appointment of Sir Timothy Anderson to the board, and Annelie Carver as general counsel and company secretary.

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