Former London City Airport CCO takes over the controls at Belfast

Matthew Hall
Gary McDonald Business Editor

FORMER London City Airport chief commercial officer Matthew Hall has been appointed to succeed Brian Ambrose as head of George Best Belfast City Airport.

Hall, who brings a diversified background in aviation, with extensive experience in sales and marketing, takes up the CEO's role on August 1.

He joins an airport very much in growth mode, with seven carriers currently serving 26 destinations, and which was recently named as the UK and Ireland’s most convenient airport.

His previous experience includes a period as commercial director at David Lloyd as well as executive roles at American Airlines, where he was managing director, sales & marketing, and vice-president at Travelport.

Matthew said: “I very much look forward to joining the highly experienced management team at Belfast City Airport.

“It is a crucial time in the aviation industry as travel resumes post-pandemic, and the airport has a pivotal role to play in supporting the Northern Ireland economy.”

Declan Collier, chairman at Belfast City Airport, which is owned by a fund managed by 3i Investments plc and which in 2019 carried 2.5 million passengers, said: “We're delighted Matthew will come here to lead the post Covid-19 restart and recovery and to enhance the airport’s position within the UK market.

“His extensive experience within the aviation sector and, in particular, his knowledge of developing and commercialising a similar city centre airport, will be hugely valuable to Belfast City.”

The appointment - which is seen by aviation watchers as something of a surprise - reunites Mr Collier with Mr Hall, who he previously worked alongside when he spent five years as chief executive of London City Airport between 2012 and 2017.

Mr Collier also thanked Brian Ambrose for his leadership and achievements over the past 16 years, adding: “His strategic guidance has been exceptional, and he will leave having ensured the airport is well-placed to support economic recovery in Northern Ireland and ready to meet an increasing future demand for travel.”

Mr Ambrose said: “It has been a privilege to serve Belfast City Airport as chief executive, and I’d like to thank our committed and talented team who have built a best-in-class product and service.

“I wish Matthew all the best in his new role as he navigates the post-pandemic recovery and the exciting opportunities that will bring.”

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