Easyjet has confirmed its CEO Dame Carolyn McCall is to leave the airline to become chief executive of ITV.

McCall is expected to leave “around the end of the year” after seven years at the helm, with the search for a successor already underway.

In a statement Easyjet’s chairman John Barton said:

“Carolyn built and led the management team that has transformed Easyjet’s performance in every respect since 2010.

“She put Easyjet’s passengers and people at the heart of the business. Having first built a solid operational performance, she redefined the customer experience not just at Easyjet but across short-haul Europe and has seen both the number and loyalty of easyJet’s passengers grow as a result.

“This has led to sustained and continuing financial success which has been shared with shareholders with a more than trebling of Easyjet’s share price and the payment of £1.2 billion in dividends.

“She will leave Easyjet well set for future success. Her successor will inherit a leadership team of strength and depth, engaged people and loyal passengers flying on Europe’s best network.

“I speak for absolutely everyone at Easyjet in saying we will be sorry to see Carolyn leave and that we wish her well in her exciting new role.”

McCall said that it had been “a really difficult decision for me to make”, but that “the opportunity from ITV felt like the right one to take”.

“I will always miss Easyjet and most of all I will miss Easyjet’s people whose Orange Spirit helps them do their best to make travel easy and affordable for their customers every day,” said McCall.

The carrier is due to issue its third quarter trading update later this week.