Aer Lingus US executive Jack Foley retires

Hertz vice-president Bill Byrne to run airline’s North America business from end of month

Aer Lingus has been focusing heavily on growing its transatlantic business over recent years. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Aer Lingus has been focusing heavily on growing its transatlantic business over recent years. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

 

Jack Foley, the Aer Lingus executive responsible for the airline’s North American business, has retired from the carrier.

Mike Rutter, the airline’s chief operating officer, told staff on Wednesday that Hertz vice-president Bill Byrne will take over as head of the North American business at the end of January.

Mr Foley is a well-known figure in aviation and had been Aer Lingus vice-president, North America, for 21 years. More recently, he took on responsibility for global sales and customer services as well.

He retired from the airline on New Year’s Eve. Aer Lingus told staff of Mr Foley’s plan shortly before Christmas.

Mr Rutter pointed out that during Mr Foley’s time, passenger numbers on the airline’s transatlantic routes had grown from 300,000 a year to 2.5 million.

Consultant

“Jack will be a very hard act to follow, and it is a change we wish we did not have to make,” Mr Rutter’s note said. He added that Mr Foley would be available for a further year as a consultant.

Aer Lingus has been focusing heavily on growing its transatlantic business over recent years.

The Jericho, New York-based North American operation generates a large share of transatlantic revenues as it is responsible for sales to US travellers, who make up the majority of passengers on the routes.

Mr Byrne is a vice-president with car rental giant Hertz, and previously worked in a senior sales role with US carrier United Airlines.

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