Willie Walsh has retired as chief executive of IAG, stepping aside for former Iberia boss Luis Gallego.
Walsh, who was previously chief executive of British Airways, had been due to step down in June, but stayed on to oversee IAG during the Covid crisis.
Gallego said: “It’s an honour to become IAG’s chief executive, following in Willie’s footsteps and building on all that he has achieved in the past nine years.
“This is a hugely difficult time for our industry. Not only do we face the immediate challenge of Covid but we must ensure that IAG is strong and resilient when it emerges from the crisis.
“The Group was in good shape before Covid with a history of strong profitable growth. We have a portfolio of world-class brands, acquired through selective M&A, in which we have invested effectively for the benefit of our customers while keeping costs under control.
“My goal is to ensure that IAG adapts to the ‘new normal’ in aviation and builds on its strengths to secure a strong future for the Group, our customers, shareholders and employees.”
Gallego has headed Iberia since 2013 and oversaw its return to profitability. Before that, he launched Iberia Express.
He also worked at Vueling and founded Clickair, which later merged with Vueling.