Willie Walsh is joining CarTrawler just weeks after standing down as chief executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group.

He is taking up a new role at the Dublin-based B2B travel technology platform.

Walsh is to become deputy chair of the company from September 30.

At the same time, Bobby Healy is stepping down from the baord after 16 years.

David Barger, co-founder of US budget carrier JetBlue, has been named as one of two new non-executive directors of the company alongside Conor Kehoe from McKinsey.

CarTrawler chair Patrick Kennedy said: “We are delighted to welcome Willie, David and Conor to the board.

“They bring a wealth of extensive global experience in the aviation and technology industries that will add significant value as the world recovers.

“Willie has had an outstanding forty-year career in the travel industry, building IAG into one of the leading global carriers.

“David is an aviation pioneer, having co-founded leading airline jetBlue and growing it into the seventh largest airline in the US.

“Conor has had an impressive career at McKinsey, having founded its Private Equity/Investor Industry Practice and formerly leading its Tech and Telecom Practice in Europe.”

“I would also like to give our sincere thanks to Bobby Healy, as he steps down from the board, on his outstanding contribution and dedication over the past sixteen years.

“Bobby has been an exceptional part of the growth of CarTrawler and we wish him the very best in the future.”

CarTrawler announced a controlling equity investment of more than €100 million in May from international investment management firm TowerBrook Capital Partners to help drive the firm’s next stage of growth as it seeks to benefit from the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

CarTrawler chief executive Cormac Barry said: “Car rental is more relevant than ever in a Covid-19 world. We are seeing demand for car rental recovering quicker than other modes of transport as consumers see car as the safest way to travel.

“Despite the Covid-19 crisis, the business has had a number of material new partner wins in the last 12 months, most notably easyJet, SAP Concur and Hopper.”

Walsh started his career as a pilot with Aer Lingus before moving into management at the airline, ultimately taking over as chief executive.

He left the Irish carrier to take the same role at British Airways, while there he merged the UK airline with Iberia, creating IAG.

The group then bought Spanish low cost carrier Vueling and took over Aer Lingus in 2015.

Iberia boss Luis Gallego has succeeded him as IAG chief executive.

Banner24Sep