Transport Minister Martin Cullen has appointed four new directors to the board of Aer Lingus.

The airline is currently preparing for privatisation, which is widely expected to proceed in the coming months.

Three of the appointments are non-executive director positions, while the fourth is an executive director appointment.

Greg O'Sullivan, Finance Director, has been appointed an Executive Director. He is a chartered accountant and joined Aer Lingus as Group Financial Controller in 1997. He was named as Finance Director in March 2006.

Danuta Gray, CEO of O2 Ireland, has been appointed as a non-executive director. Prior to joining O2 Ireland, she was senior vice president of BT Wireless' businesses in Europe.

Thomas J Moran, President and CEO of Mutual of America, has also been appointed as a non-executive director of the airline. Mutual of America is a leading insurance company in the US.  Mr Moran has been President of the company since 1992 and was named CEO in 1994.

Michael Johns, representing the Employee Share Ownership Trust of the airline, is the final non-executive director appointment announced today. He is a partner in Ashurst solicitors, a London practice that advises the eircom ESOT.

Security alert on transatlantic flight

Gardaí are investigating a security alert this morning on an Aer Lingus flight from the US to Ireland. 

The New York to Dublin service, with 239 passengers and crew, made a scheduled stop at Shannon Airport at 7.45am.

Those on board were questioned and the aircraft was searched. Nothing was found during the search and the alert was stood down.

The flight was detained at the airport after a phone call to the gardaí.

Dick Butler, Ground Operations Director for Aer Lingus, confirmed that gardaí had received a call at around 4am saying there was a liquid explosive on board the plane.

The aircraft made a normal landing at Shannon and all passengers were interviewed once they had disembarked the aircraft. 

The aircraft was then parked away from the main terminal building.

A Shannon spokesman said no traces of explosives were found in the initial search.