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EasyJet has appointed Johan Lundgren, the former deputy Chief Executive of tour operator TUI Group, as its new CEO.

Lundgren replaces Carolyn McCall, who announced she was leaving the airline earlier this year to join UK broadcaster ITV. He will take over on December 1 with McCall stepping down as CEO on 30 November. McCall will remain with the airline until December 31 to assist with the transition.

The appointment is somewhat of a surprise given that Lundgren left TUI Group in May 2015 and was not one of the names previously linked with the post.

However, unlike McCall, who had no aviation industry experience, Lundgren will be familiar with the sector from his time at TUI, which has a number of airlines in its portfolio.

McCall’s lack of experience didn’t do her any harm as her time at easyJet has largely been a success. Lundgren will take over an airline in pretty good health, although it does face some serious challenges, most notably Brexit.

John Barton, Chairman of EasyJet, said: “I and the EasyJet board are delighted to announce Johan as our new CEO.  Johan has proven experience in European travel as CEO and in broader group roles.  He is strategic yet operationally focussed and has proved himself to be a customer-centric, charismatic and successful leader.

Lundgren said: “I have flown with and been a fan of EasyJet and its wonderful people for many years.  This is an exciting time to be joining Europe’s leading airline. Carolyn has built a fantastic team and with them I look forward to contributing to easyJet’s continued success.”

Before his departure from TUI, Lundgren spent almost 30 years working at various tour operators around Europe.

Photo Credit: New EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren. The former TUI Group deputy CEO will replace Carolyn McCall. EasyJet