Who Is Aer Lingus’ New CEO Lynne Embleton?

In just over a month, Aer Lingus will officially have a new CEO. Currently, the Chief Executive of IAG Cargo, airline industry veteran Lynne Embleton will be the Irish carrier’s new leader. Who is Embleton, and what kind of experience is she bringing to Aer Lingus? Let’s find out.

aer lingus
With the previous CEO having moved to oversee British Airways, Embleton has been selected as Aer Lingus’ new chief executive. Photo: Getty Images

Moving within IAG

Last October, we reported that British Airways had a new CEO in the form of Seán Doyle. With Doyle’s new role in leading the British carrier, he was leaving his position as CEO at Aer Lingus.

Although Doyle’s installation as BA’s CEO was fairly quick after Alex Cruz stepped down, IAG took some time in its search for the Aer Lingus successor. From mid-October until now, Aer Lingus Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Donal Moriarty has been sitting in as the airline’s interim chief executive. Moriarty will return to his previous position.

Embleton will officially take her new position on April 6th, according to The Irish Times. Now that we know how the new appointment came to be let’s take a look at Lynne Embleton herself and her career in the aviation industry.

Lynne has over 25 years of experience working within the airline industry, first joining British Airways in October 1992. Photo: IAG

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Who is Lynne Embleton?

With more than 25 years working in the airline industry, Embleton brings a wealth of knowledge to Aer Lingus. The current chief executive and chairwoman of IAG Cargo, Embleton, joined British Airways in October of 1992. Since then, she has held two key roles at the airline, including the following:

  • Head of Strategy: Responsible for strategic business development and planning, alliance management, network planning, and airport infrastructure development.
  • Director of Strategy: Responsible for the British Airways strategy and business plan, worldwide planning of aircraft, scheduling, and route network; alongside economic regulation, post-merger integration, and the creation and long-term development of strategic alliances.

Additionally, Irish Times reports that she has also been managing director at Gatwick Airport, as well as the director of strategy and chairwoman of BA Cityflyer.

IAG’s website notes that Embleton holds a First Class Honours Degree in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham, a Master’s of Business Administration from Lancaster University, and a Master’s Degree in Management Science and Operational Research from the University of Strathclyde.

IAG Cargo, COVID-19 Vaccine, one million doses
With IAG Cargo’s involvement in delivering COVID-19 vaccines, Embleton had a role to play in the coordination effort. Photo: IAG Cargo

Taking charge at a challenging time

Embleton takes the reigns of Aer Lingus at a challenging time- not just for the airline but for the entire industry.

RTE notes that IAG chief Luis Gallego had high praise for Embleton’s recent efforts in overseeing IAG Cargo’s adaptation to the events of 2020, saying:

“At IAG Cargo, Ms. Embleton has led the company as it adapted rapidly to the COVID-19 pandemic and has made significant progress in digitally transforming the business…I’m confident that she has the skills to lead Aer Lingus through the pandemic and enable it to emerge in a strong competitive position in the future.”

Sean Doyle
Embleton takes the place of Seán Doyle, who moved on to lead British Airways in October. Photo: Aer Lingus

Even though the nature of the job will be fairly different than overseeing IAG Cargo, Embleton appears to have more than enough passenger airline experience to do the job well.

Aer Lingus has been making moves to grow its transatlantic operations, joining oneworld’s transatlantic joint venture. In December, Aer Lingus filed for approval to launch flights from Manchester to Boston, New York, and Orlando. The flights would be operated by a new subsidiary airline called Aer Lingus UK and compete against Virgin Atlantic who has had the routes to itself since Thomas Cook’s collapse.

What do you think of the new Aer Lingus chief and her industry experience? Let us know in the comments.