• The Bristol-based light jet manufacturer AERALIS, today announced Robin Southwell will become the Chair of the Main Board, taking over from Brian Hibbert CBE.

London. 06 September 2023. Brian has been AERALIS’s Chair since 2018 and the inception of the AERALIS company. Under his tenure, Brian has overseen AERALIS’s initial set-up phase, establishing the company in the aerospace marketplace and steering the company’s agile business model. This phase also included key milestones of delivering Barzan Holding’s multi-million-pound investment into AERALIS, and the awarding of a £9 Million digital engineering contract from the UK Ministry of Defence. With the initial set-up phase complete, Brian is looking forward to supporting the company in a technical advisory capacity whilst the position of Chair will now evolve to oversee a new phase in AERALIS’s journey – growing the company’s global sales and marketing capability.

To oversee this new phase, Robin Southwell has been selected by the Board owing to his rich history in the aerospace sector. His extensive career has included roles at BAE Systems, EADS and latterly Airbus – through this time his responsibilities transitioned from commercial and marketing into general management. Being also the founder of AirTanker, the organisation behind the innovative commercial model for running and operating the UK’s Voyager tanker fleet, Robin has extensive experience in building transformational aviation capabilities. This wealth of experience will provide valuable governance and oversight to AERALIS’ senior leadership as the business continues into its next chapter of rapid growth.

The appointment marks a key moment as AERALIS looks to target opportunities not only in the UK but also in key international markets. It comes as the business gears up for its second DSEI appearance where members of the AERALIS team will continue to develop its existing relationships with industry and government stakeholders whilst securing new partnerships as part of growing its exciting programme.

AERALIS’s founder & CEO Tristan Crawford commented:

“I am truly excited to announce that Robin is joining AERALIS as Chair of the Board. Robin’s extensive industry experience as well as knowledge of innovative aircraft delivery through AirTanker makes him a perfect fit for the AERALIS business and our innovative route to market. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Brian, who has provided his expert knowledge and leadership to deliver an industry first, that of establishing AERALIS as a brand-new modular aircraft system company both in the UK and the international marketplace.”

Incoming Chairman, Robin Southwell, said:

“The opportunity to join the AERALIS team and be part of the business’ rapid growth is an exciting prospect. I look forward to guiding and overseeing the business through its next exciting phase of scaling the company’s proposition across UK and international markets now ready for a new approach to light jet defence aviation.”