Ryanair’s chief financial officer and deputy CEO Howard Millar is to step down as a full time executive at the end of this year.

Mr Millar, who has worked at the company for almost 23 years, plans to pursue other career opportunities but will join the airline’s board next year as a non-executive director.

He is due to be replaced by Neil Sorahan, who will take over as CFO in October.

Mr Millar said it had been an honour to play a “central role” in building Ryanair to its current size and was pleased to be invited to become a non-executive director next year.

“As I leave Ryanair as a full-time executive from December next, I look forward to new career opportunities and challenges, and am confident that my successor and the Ryanair team will continue to drive the business forward,” he said.

CEO Michael O’Leary said Mr Millar had been a “pioneer in the development of low fare air travel in Europe” and would be greatly missed within the company.