Kerry Airport board co-opts representative of Saudi bin Mahfouz family

Family has been major shareholder since 1990s

Kerry Airport was one of a number of Irish ventures to benefit from a £20 million-euro investment by the bin Mahfouz family.

A representative of the bin Mahfouz family, the Saudi Arabian billionaire banker family and a major shareholder in Kerry Airport since the 1990s, has been appointed to the board.

Kerry Airport chairman Denis Cregan confirmed that Sammy Haress had been co-opted on to the board of directors with effect from March 28th.

"Mr Haress will represent the interests of Glenmore Capital, which is a Kerry Airport shareholding company," a statement from the airport company said.

Mr Haress is an internationally-qualified engineer and chief executive of Jetstream Aviation, a VIP private jet management and operations company specialising in the acquisition, outfitting, servicing and management of jets across the United States, Europe and the Middle East.


Mr Haress also acts as an engineering consultant to clients ranging from private individuals to multinational corporations, serving as the owner representative on aviation projects and supervising day-to-day asset management and maintenance on their behalf.

Mr Cregan said Mr Haress’s experience within the international aviation industry, particularly in the corporate jet sector, would be “of immense benefit to Kerry Airport and the southwest region”.

The appointment arises from a vacancy on the 12-member board. The agm takes place in June.

The co-opting of Mr Haress is one of a suite of new moves at the airport which saw passengers up by 9 per cent last year.

An upgrading of passenger terminal facilities and a new helicopter base to service the “imminent reopening “ of Ireland’s oil and gas exploration industry off the coast was announced by the new general manager at Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, in March.

Glenmore Capital is registered in the British Virgin Islands and represents the original investment in Kerry Airport by the late Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, a spokesman confirmed.

The airport was one of a number of Irish ventures to benefit from a multimillion-euro investment by the late sheikh in the early 1990s linked to a grant of Irish passports to eight Saudis, authorised by then minister for justice Ray Burke.