European Regions Airline Association (ERA) director general (DG) Simon McNamara will step down as chief of the regional airline lobby group later this year to become director of communications at ERA member airline Flybe.

McNamara has been ERA DG for the past five years, succeeding Mike Ambrose in the role.

“The association has huge momentum and I will leave the role in the knowledge that ERA is stronger than it has ever been,” McNamara said.

ERA said its board has put a succession plan in place, although it did not give timelines for the transition. McNamara has committed to assist with a smooth leadership handover.

“Given also the new circumstances and challenges in European aviation, our focus is fully dedicated to find and select the right successor to keep ERA thriving and growing,” ERA president Boet Kreiken said.

ERA, which was founded in 1980, represents 52 airlines and 142 aerospace industry companies to the European regulatory bodies.

In his new role with Exeter-based Flybe, McNamara will be the strategic lead for Flybe’s PR and public affairs activities, reporting to CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com