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New Chief Executive for British Airways

International Airlines  Group has announced that Alex Cruz is to replace Keith Williams as chairman and  chief executive of British Airways in April 2016 when Keith retires after 18 years  at the airline.

Alex Cruz is chairman and  chief executive of Vueling currently. In his new role, he will continue to  report to IAG chief executive Willie Walsh.

In addition Steve Gunning,  the current chief executive of IAG Cargo, will become chief financial officer  at British Airways, replacing Nick Swift who is leaving the airline to pursue  other opportunities with everyone’s good wishes.

  Commenting on the new  appointments, Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “I would like to thank  Keith Williams for all that he has achieved at British Airways. It has been a  great personal privilege to work with Keith for the last 10 years. Keith is not  only British Airways’ executive chairman, he was fundamental to the creation of  IAG. IAG is as much his legacy as is his leadership of BA.”

“Under Alex Cruz’s leadership, Vueling has  become a dynamic, innovative and cost-effective airline and Alex will bring new  experience and insight to British Airways.   Steve Gunning will return to British Airways to support Alex as chief  financial officer. He has been highly effective in setting up IAG’s first ever  single business unit at IAG Cargo. The business is industry-leading with a ground  breaking operating model and cost focus.”

Alex Cruz said: “I’m  delighted to accept the role at British Airways and look forward to working  next year at one of the world’s largest and most iconic airlines.  The challenge at British Airways is to  continue providing excellent customer service while ensuring that we meet the  financial targets that IAG sets for us. I would also like to thank everyone at  Vueling for all that we have achieved together and I know that the airline will  continue to go from strength to strength.”

Announcements about the new  chairman and chief executive of Vueling and new chief executive of IAG Cargo  will be made in due course.


  November  6, 2015                                                                                                                                               IAG18
  For further details please  contact the IAG press office at +44 208 564 2810


Notes to  Editors
Alex Cruz founded Spanish  airline Clickair in 2006 which merged with Vueling in 2009 when he became chief  executive. Vueling became part of IAG in 2013. Alex began his career at  American Airlines where he worked for 10 years before undertaking management consultancy  roles focusing on projects in the airline and travel industry. He is from  Bilbao and lives in London.

Steve Gunning is a  chartered accountant who joined British Airways in 1998 after working as a  senior manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He worked at the airline as finance  director and head of internal control until becoming managing director of  British Airways World Cargo in 2007. He led the creation of IAG Cargo, which  combined British Airways and Iberia cargo into a single business, in 2011.