Manchester Airport today announced it has appointed Karen Smart as its Managing Director.
She moves to the UK’s third largest airport, having held the same role at East Midlands Airport, which is also part of the MAG group, for the past two years.
Reporting into the current Manchester Airport CEO, Andrew Cowan, Karen will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the northern gateway.
Meanwhile, Brad Miller, has been appointed Managing Director of MAG-O, MAG’s digital division. He has held a number of roles across MAG, including Chief Operating Officer, Programme Director of Manchester’s Transformation Programme and Chief of Staff.
Originally from Macclesfield, Karen joined MAG in 2014 and prior to her current role at East Midlands, was Director of Landside Operations at MAG’s other airport London Stansted.
Before this, she was Customer Services and Security Director. Prior to joining MAG, Karen spent several years at service provider Serco and had a distinguished career in the RAF.
She said: “It’s a hugely interesting and challenging time in the world of aviation and I feel privileged to take on this role at Manchester Airport.
“As the entire industry looks to recover from the global pandemic, I look forward to ensuring Manchester Airport once again plays its vital role of connecting the North to key international destinations, whilst keeping passengers and staff safe.
“Furthermore, as passenger volumes grow and we see a return to pre Covid-19 numbers, I look forward to ensuring our continued commitment to the environment and local communities, whilst creating economic opportunities to benefit the whole region.”
Brad Miller added: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my role at Manchester Airport over the last few years and it’s been a pleasure to see what the airport has achieved and delivered across the region.
“I’d like to thank the whole team, who have been a delight to work with, during more normal times and most recently through the pandemic. Their professionalism and commitment to ensuring passenger safety and the success of the airport is outstanding.
“I look forward to taking on my new role as Managing Director of MAG-O and driving forward our digital agenda.”
Karen joins the northern hub at what would usually be the airport’s busiest time of year. Manchester Airport has already seen passenger numbers begin to increase as more airlines resume services.
Karen’s role at East Midlands Airport will be replaced by Clare James, who is currently Operational Excellence Director for MAG.