Ryanair is to appoint a new chief executive to run the primary airline operation as current chief Michael O'Leary moves up to a group leadership role to oversee a transition of the company's structure.

O'Leary has agreed to stay on for another five years, until at least July 2024, taking up the position of group chief executive.

But the main airline division will come under a new chief, to be appointed later this year, the company says.

The restructuring, it adds, will mean Ryanair Holdings will be organised in a manner "not dissimilar" to that of British Airways and Iberia parent IAG.

Over the next 12 months a senior management team will oversee the four airline subsidiaries – Ryanair, Laudamotion, Ryanair Sun and Ryanair UK – which will each have its own chief executive.

The holding will focus on capital allocation and cost reduction, as well as fleet expansion.

"We believe this group structure will deliver cost and operating efficiencies, while enabling the group to look at other small-scale merger and acquisition opportunities," the company says.

O'Leary's extended contract will "give certainty" to Ryanair's shareholders, it adds, and allow him to "guide" the individual management teams of the airline operations.

Chairman David Bonderman has agreed to lead the board for another year, until summer 2020, but does not wish to be considered for re-election at the subsequent annual general meeting.

Ryanair says Stan McCarthy will take up the post of deputy chairman from April this year and move to become chairman in summer 2020, succeeding Bonderman.

Source: Cirium Dashboard