Willie Walsh is stepping down as chief executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group in June 2020. He will be replaced by the current CEO of Iberia Mr. Luis Gallego after 15 years on the job.
IAG CEO Willie Walsh to Step Down in June
Willie Walsh will leave the position of CEO in March 2020. However, he will retire from the company at the end of June. He started his career as a cadet pilot for Aer Lingus. He created IAG through the 2011 merger of Spain’s Iberia and British Airways and turned it into one of Europe’s more successful airline groups. IAG currently consists of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and Level and is in the process of trying to acquire Air Europe. Luis Gallego, the future CEO of IAG, started his career in the airline industry in 1997 with Air Nostrum and, since 2014, he has been CEO of Iberia.
Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman, said in a press release on the IAG website:
“Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG. Under Willie’s leadership, IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups. Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.”
Last year British Airways suffered a big financial loss. this included two days of strikes by pilots in September. The strikes led to the cancellation of 2,325 flights, which cost the carrier over £121m. British Airways pilots began the two-day strike on Monday, September 9, 2019. They grounded nearly all of its flights and disrupted thousands of passengers in a dispute over how much pay they receive.
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