Heathrow Airport has confirmed that Thomas Woldbye, currently the boss of Copenhagen Airport, is set to replace current Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye when he steps down later this year, after nearly 10 years in post.

According to the board of the airport, Woldbye emerged as “the standout candidate among a pool of exceptional contenders” in an “extensive recruitment process”.

Having served as the CEO of Copenhagen Airport since 2011, Woldbye has proven experience as a CEO of a major airport.

Prior to his role at Copenhagen Airport, Woldbye spent 27 years at AP Moller-Maersk, leading the global shipping and ferry divisions and working in several different countries around the world.

“I am naturally excited and proud, as well as humbled, to have been chosen to lead what is arguably the most famous airport in the world on its future journey,” Incoming Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye said.

“Heathrow is an important engine for the British economy and is inextricably linked to the success of London and the wider UK. My ambition will be to make the airport even better for passengers, for airlines, the community and every part of the UK.”

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Holland-Kaye will remain in his current post over the summer until Woldbye officially starts later in the year.

“It’s been the privilege of my lifetime to lead our fantastic team. I’ve worked with Thomas over recent years and am a great admirer of his leadership on diversity and sustainability and his championing of the needs of passengers,” said current Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.

“I’m confident that the Heathrow team will be the cornerstone of his success in delivering the best airport service in the world.”

Heathrow is the UK’s and Europe’s largest airport. The airport sees over 200,000 passengers on roughly 1,300 flights each day and serves as Britain’s hub for trade, tourism, and investment

“After an extensive and rigorous review of candidates, the Heathrow Board is delighted to appoint Thomas Woldbye as the next Heathrow CEO. Thomas’s achievements at Copenhagen not only mirror Heathrow’s long-term strategy, but his track record in successfully running a major airport and working closely with stakeholders to secure consensus and deliver positive results stood out in the selection process,” said Heathrow chairman Lord Paul Deighton.

“The Board would like to pay tribute to John. He set a strong example in his unyielding dedication to his colleagues and will leave behind a legacy of having transformed Heathrow into a premier global hub, developed the plan for Heathrow expansion that secured overwhelming Parliamentary approval, navigated the business through the extremely challenging times during the Covid-19 pandemic, overcame the unprecedented challenges of the post-pandemic recovery in demand, and led the industry towards a net-zero future.”