STEPHEN Hester, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has been appointed the next chairman of easyJet.

Mr Hester, who led Royal Bank for five years in the aftermath of its £45.5 billion bailout by taxpayers at the height of the financial crisis, will join the airline as non-executive director on September 1. He will succeed John Barton as chairman on December 1.

Mr Hester was chief executive of RSA Insurance from 2014 to 2021, and is a former boss of British Land and chief operating officer of Abbey National. He has also held a number of senior executive roles at Credit Suisse First Boston in London and New York.

Ms Hester said: “As a long-standing admirer of easyJet, and from my own experience as a customer, I am very excited to be joining the airline and look forward to playing my part in driving its continued success.

“I see so many opportunities for this iconic brand in the coming years, all underpinned by its proven business model, unrivalled network and loyal customer base. I am convinced we can be winners in the European airline industry of the future, serving customers well and driving attractive shareholder value. I can't wait to join the easyJet team.”