Oates will be responsible for increasing MAG’s profile and managing its reputation with national, regional and international stakeholders, working closely with its public affairs and senior leadership teams as well as external partners.
He will oversee the press offices at each of MAG’s four airports: Manchester, London Stansted, East Midlands and Bournemouth.
Oates, who takes up his role on 15 September, said: "MAG is at a fascinating time in its evolution and communications will play an increasingly significant role in supporting the ongoing growth of the business.
"I am delighted to be back in-house and working in a sector for which I have had a longstanding passion. There can’t be many companies in the UK that are so firmly placed at the centre of so many interesting issues affecting such a wide variety of audiences."
Oates left The Red Consultancy last month, where he was head of corporate affairs.
He was previously head of comms at Betfair but set up his own agency, Oates & Partners, earlier this year after losing his job amid comms cuts at the betting exchange.
Earlier in his career, he was global business media manager at SABMiller and an associate partner at agency Luther Pendragon.
At MAG, Oates will report to the company’s corporate affairs director, Tim Hawkins.
Hawkins said: "Jonathan’s experience across a range of industries will make a huge contribution to driving the MAG business forward."