Willie Walsh, the British Airways boss who orchestrated its merger with Iberia to create International Airlines Group, is to retire after 15 years.
The company said he would step down as chief executive of IAG in March – to be replaced by Luis Gallego, who currently runs Iberia.
Mr Walsh, a former Aer Lingus pilot, took over at BA in 2005, later becoming leader of the wider group – which today also includes the Irish carrier as well as low-cost brands Vueling and Level.
IAG chairman Antonio Vazquez said: “Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.”
Mr Walsh said: “It has been a privilege to have been instrumental in the creation and development of IAG.”
The announcement comes against a background of anindustrial disputebetween BA and pilots’ union Balpa.
Over the past year BA has also been dealing with the fall-out from a 2019 data breach affecting hundreds of thousands of Customers that saw the UK information regulator proposea £ 728 m fineon the company.
More follows …