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Stansted Airport gets new managing director as Steve Griffiths steps up to replace Manchester-bound Ken O'Toole

Stansted Airport has a new managing director as Steve Griffiths, formerly chief operating officer, has been promoted to the top job.

He replaces chief executive Ken O'Toole, who steps up to become chief development officer for the Uttlesford hub's owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), where he will assume responsibility for the group's corporate and business strategies and development, including aviation, retail and property.

Mr Griffiths, who joined Stansted in October 2018 from Transport for London, will be responsible for the day-to-day airport operations, including security, airfield operations, passenger experience, terminal operations and asset maintenance.

Steve Griffiths (39277069)
Steve Griffiths (39277069)

He said: "After almost two years at London Stansted I've seen first-hand the incredible dedication of our teams in delivering a rapid development of our airline route network and investment in our passenger facilities and services.

"Never has this hard work and commitment been more important than over the last few months as the airport responds to the unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19. The focus the whole operation has shown on making it as safe as possible for our passengers is what makes Stansted such a special place to work.

"There will be further challenges ahead, but I'm excited to be leading our dedicated teams as we look to the future.

"As we welcome more passengers to the airport this summer, I'm determined and excited by this opportunity to lead the recovery and ensure we continue to deliver the best possible airport experience at London Stansted."

Mr Griffiths is taking the helm at a critical time for the airport. Earlier in July MAG confirmed it would be appealing against Uttlesford District Council's decision to block planning permission for growth from a current maximum of 35 million passengers a year to 43m.

The authority's Residents for Uttlesford (R4U) regime reversed the previous Conservative administration's approval for the scheme, citing environmental and infrastructure concerns.

The airport is also facing a slump in services as airlines respond to the coronavirus crisis by cutting flights and destinations. Budget airline easyJet has begun the process of closing its base at Stansted as it axes thousands of jobs worldwide.

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