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Who are the contenders to run Aer Lingus if sale goes through?

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Warwick Brady

Warwick Brady

India Today Group/Getty Images

Stephen Kavanagh Planning Director at Aer Lingus with Dermot Mannion Chief Executive at Aer Lingus and Sean Coyle

Stephen Kavanagh Planning Director at Aer Lingus with Dermot Mannion Chief Executive at Aer Lingus and Sean Coyle

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Warwick Brady

Warwick Brady

Warwick Brady (50) has been working in aviation business since he was just 18 years old.

He had a colourful start.

While he started flying at the age of 18, he later went on to work as a professional pilot, and perhaps more interestingly, as a acrobatic flying team tutor.

"But in my mid-20s I realised there is more to life in the aviation industry than flying," he told the 'Wall Street Journal' in 2008, a year after he'd taken up a role as chief executive of Indonesia's Mandala Airlines.

"The business aspect is much more interesting. The only way to be a good manager is to learn the business inside out. So I signed up for Brunel University [in West London, England] and juggled between my pilot job and my MBA course," he said.

He added: "During my MBA course I met my business partner [in a later dairy-manufacturing business in Poland] who told me that you don't have to be the best but certainly you have to be better than your competitor. Get into details, be hands-on, but don't lose the big picture" he said.

"Now, I set the example: I check the airline toilets and I check the bookings."

Between 1996 and 2002 Mr Brady worked in the private equity business in both London and Poland.

But he was back in the aviation business in 2002 - the year he joined Ryanair as its deputy operations director.

In 2005, he left that role, and already Ryanair had grown from a fleet of 40 aircraft to hundreds.

He took up a position as chief operating officer with India's Air Deccan, leading its growth during an aviation boom in the country. He played a key role in securing the airline's listing on the Bombay stock exchange.

Two years later, he moved again, this time to Mandala Airlines in Indonesia. Indonesia's airline business had a terrible reputation for safety after a number of crashes. He worked to ensure Mandala Airlines regained passenger trust and that of the wider industry.

He joined Easyjet in 2009 as procurement director, responsible for fleet management, airport, central procurement and regulation.

In October 2010, he was appointed director of group operations at Easyjet.

Stephen Kavanagh

Stephen Kavanagh (47), the chief strategy and planning officer at Aer Lingus, had always been in the frame for the role of Aer Lingus chief executive.

He's proven himself as a very capable operator, having successfully expanded the airline's transatlantic services once the country started emerging from the economic mire.

Mr Kavanagh joined Aer Lingus in 1988 and is a graduate of University College, Dublin.

He has garnered vast experience working across the airline during his time there.

After joining the airline, he held a number of analytical and management positions in fleet scheduling and business planning, before being appointed operations planning manager in 2003.

In that role, he was responsible for the integration of the Aer Lingus network, aircraft and crew planning.

He had a particular focus on improving productivity and asset utilisation.

In March 2006, he joined the senior Aer Lingus management team as planning director.

That was just months before the airline's stock market flotation.

Just over a year later, in November 2007, he was appointed corporate planning director.

In 2009 he was named chief commercial officer and appointed to his current role early last year.

He has worked closely with chief executive Christoph Mueller and the pair appear to have operated effectively together.

Irish Independent