Christine Ourmières-Widener, the CEO of Flybe has announced that she will step down from her role in mid-July. Her departure comes two months after the sale of the business to Connect Airways, a consortium comprising Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and Cyrus Capital.
While Ourmières-Widener’s successor has yet to be announced the company hopes to do so before her departure. One of only a few female airline CEOs in the industry, she joined the airline in January 2017 and was tasked with leading the airline through a turnaround following several years of low profitability.
“It has been a privilege to lead Flybe over the past two years and to work with such an outstanding and dedicated team of professionals,” said Christine Ourmières-Widener, who also joined the board of governors at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2018. “Together, we have been able to secure the jobs of our loyal Flybe employees with the sale to Connect Airways and provide our customers and the UK with the vital transport and travel infrastructure they rely on, while preparing Flybe for a bright future under its new ownership.”
Jonathan Peachey, director of Flybe, said: “On behalf of the entire Flybe Board, I want to extend my gratitude to Christine Ourmières-Widener. “This includes her tireless efforts to safeguard the future for the customers and communities who rely on Flybe, as well as the company’s employees, its pension fund members and its creditors. We all wish Christine the very best for the future.”
Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe operates more UK domestic flights than any other airline – 53% of all UK flights within mainland Britain (excluding London). The airline currently operates 197 routes serving 11 countries from 71 departure points in the UK and Europe. It’s also the largest scheduled airline by traffic movements at Aberdeen, Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Doncaster Sheffield, Exeter, Glasgow, Isle of Man, Jersey, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports.
Inset image: Christine Ourmières-Widener pictured with Tony Burge, Eastern Airways COO