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Mueller calls time on Aer Lingus career

The airline chief will move on in May next year.

Mueller welcoming Katie Taylor from the London Olympics in 2012
Mueller welcoming Katie Taylor from the London Olympics in 2012
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

AER LINGUS CHIEF Executive Christoph Mueller has announced that he will leave the company in May next year.

Mueller was appointed to the group five years ago as Chief Executive Office, joining in July of 2009 before adding the executive director role to his brief in September of the same year.

In a statement, Aer Lingus chairman Colm Barrington said:

“We will be very sorry to see Christoph leave Aer Lingus in 2015. We are extremely grateful to him for his excellent service and positive contribution since 2009.”

Under Christoph’s strategic leadership, Aer Lingus has been transformed into a strong, consistently profitable airline with a clear strategic direction, a resilient business model and an improved cost base.

Mueller is credited with a major turnaround in fortunes at the carrier, but in recent months has come up against trenchant industrial relations issues and a dispute over pensions at the airline, and has been forced into a profit write-down for 2014.

In addition to this, a motion to increase his pension contribution was voted down at a meeting of Aer Lingus shareholders earlier this year, with the Government using its holding to vote against the deal.

In a note, Davy analyst Stephen Furlong said that he expects Mueller to see out the pension and industrial relations issues before leaving.

The Aer Lingus board will now kick off a process to find the next CEO of the airline.

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President of the Irish Travel Agents Association Martin Skelly congratulated Mueller on his “successful reign” at the airline.

“We look forward to working with him until he steps down next May. Aer Lingus is an Irish institution and its continued growth, competitiveness and profitability is of great importance to the Irish travel industry and the Irish travelling public.”

Read: ‘Last opportunity’ to resolve Aer Lingus pension dispute>

Read: Winged – Aer Lingus profits could be down by 20% after strike>

About the author:

Jack Horgan-Jones

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