Stansted Airport boss who led three years of growth leaves for new role

Andrew Cowan, currently chief strategy officer of MAG, who has been appointed divisional chief execu

Andrew Cowan, currently chief strategy officer of MAG, who has been appointed divisional chief executive atf Stansted Airport. - Credit: Archant

The man who has led Stansted Airport through three years of development and passenger growth is moving on to a new role within the Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

Andrew Harrison, who became managing director at Stansted following the airport’s acquisition by MAG in 2013, is to become chief strategy officer at the group’s headquarters in Manchester.

He will be succeeded at Stansted by Andrew Cowan in the renamed role of divisional chief executive officer, with effect from April 1.

Mr Cowan is currently chief strategy officer at MAG and has previously held the roles of chief operating officer for the group and managing director at Manchester Airport.

Under Mr Harrison’s leadership, Stansted has become one of the UK’s fastest growing airports, with its annual passenger total having increased by 5million in the last three years.


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During that time, £80million has been spent on transforming the main terminal building and the airport has also agreed deals with a number of new airlines, most recently British Airways, alongside the launch of additional routes by established operators including Ryanair, so that Stansted now offers more European destinations than any other UK airport.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “Since MAG acquired London Stansted, Andrew Harrison has done a fantastic job of driving growth at the airport and integrating it into the wider group.

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“Andrew Cowan is hugely experienced and I am confident that he will continue to build on the great foundations that exist at Stansted.”

Mr Cowan said: “It’s a hugely exciting time in the aviation industry and I feel privileged to be taking on the role of divisional CEO at London Stansted Airport. Andrew Harrison has delivered phenomenal growth and a significant investment programme which has seen passengers and airlines voting with their feet and choosing Stansted.

“I’m looking forward to building on the strong foundations left by Andrew, continuing the drive to attract new airlines to serve the vibrant London market and burgeoning Eastern England region and further improving the customer experience.”

Mr Harrison said: “I’m very proud of what the Stansted team has achieved over the last three years. We have taken the airport through a significant transformation programme, returned passenger numbers back close to their previous peak and rebuilt our relationships with the local community.

“The airport has a very promising future ahead and I wish Andrew every success in taking forward the next chapter in Stansted’s journey.”

He added: “I am delighted to have been appointed chief strategy officer and lead MAG’s push into new markets. The opportunities for innovative companies like ours are endless and we have a great opportunity to become a leader in airport management, digital products and services.”

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