Iberia boss steps down

Iberia boss steps down

The boss of loss-making Iberia is stepping down with immediate effect, according to parent company International Airlines Group.

Rafael Sánchez-Lozano and IAG have decided he will leave by mutual agreement.

He is being replaced by the chief executive of budget off-shoot Iberia Express, Luis Gallego.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: "I would like to thank Rafael for his hard work and commitment to Iberia. He has led the airline through a very difficult period in the midst of a deep recession and has completed the first important step towards returning the airline to profitability.

"Luis Gallego has extensive experience across a range of international airlines. He was instrumental as chief executive of Iberia Express in creating an airline that is a great success.

“It is profitable, punctual and popular with customers and has created 500 much needed jobs in Spain.

“Iberia is entering its next transition phase and I have every confidence that Luis can return Iberia to profitable growth."

Sánchez-Lozano said: "I have been proud to lead Iberia for over three years.

“After reaching agreement with the mediator and the majority of our unions, we have achieved an important milestone as we restructure the airline. The company is now entering a new phase and it is time for me to pass on the baton to my successor."

Gallego, said: "The airline has an enviable international network and is a leader from Europe to the powerhouse economies of South America.

“As chief executive of Iberia Express I have worked closely with Iberia and l look forward to taking the company into a new era and successful future."

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