Aer Lingus has appointed a new deputy finance director and created other new positions, including that of operations director, to strengthen and simplify its management structure.

The airline said in a statement it had hired David Manifold as deputy finance director. Manifold was previously finance director with Irish communications provider Perlico.

Peter O'Neill, with the company since 1989 and currently responsible for pilot and cabin crew resource planning, will take on the new role of operations director on the retirement of ground operations director Dick Butler in mid-2008.

Corporate planning, led by Stephen Kavanagh, will replace the former position of planning director. This new role will include all aspects of fleet and route strategy.

Corporate affairs, headed up by Enda Corneille, will replace the former position of commercial director. This new role will include all internal and external communications, including media relations, corporate and Government affairs and Aer Lingus branding and marketing.

'These changes simplify and better align our management structure with our growth strategy,' Aer Lingus CEO Dermot Mannion said.