September 19, 2020

Spanish talent for one of the largest air groups in the world


IAG has completed with the tanned managers in Iberia the relays in the dome of its airlines that have been produced by the domino effect of the next departure of the group’s CEO, Willie Walsh, and its replacement by the chief executive of the former Spanish flag company, Luis Gallego. To fill the vacancy left by Gallego, IAG has appointed the current president and CEO of the low-cost Catalan airline Vueling, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, whose position will be filled by Iberia’s commercial director, Marco Sansavini.

These relays occur at a time of important challenges which the group faces as the exit of United Kingdom of the European Union (EU), the process of buying the Spanish airline Air Europe (Globalia) by IAG and a series of geopolitical uncertainties in the world, to which the outbreak of the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus. The crisis unleashed by that outbreak has forced most of the airlines with connections to China to cancel the planned flights for the next few weeks, including British Airways and Iberia, which are part of IAG together with Vueling, Aer Lingus and Level. Against the initial fear of the workers of Iberia that its merger with British Airways in 2011 caused the Spanish to lose weight in the resulting group, it has not only recovered the path of profitability, after having been about to fail, It has become the main source of talent for senior management of IAG companies.

Chairs dance

The chair dance at the executive positions of IAG airlines began in 2013, when Luis Gallego He left his post as CEO of Iberia Express, a low-cost subsidiary of Iberia, to take charge of the latter, after the resignation of Rafael Sánchez-Lozano. Currently, the only company in the group that does not run a Spanish is the Irish Aer Lingus, incorporated to IAG in 2015, and whose top executive is now Sean Doyle.

The position left seven years ago by Gallego in Iberia Express, occupied it Fernando Candela, from Air nostrum (the regional airline of Iberia), where he had been director of Planning and Management Control. After six years at the helm of Iberia Express, Candela went on to lead in 2019 Level, IAG’s long-distance low-cost brand launched in 2017, and Iberia’s “low cost” production manager, Carlos Gomez, assumed his position on an interim basis.

Previously, in 2016, the then CEO of Vueling, Alex CruzHe was appointed top executive of British Airways and his position in the Catalan low-cost airline was occupied by Sánchez-Prieto, then the financial and strategic planning director at Iberia, who now leads. Cruz, founder of Clickair In 2006 and responsible, as CEO, of the rapid growth of the airline in Europe – which culminated in the merger with Vueling in 2009 -, the latter coincided with Gallego, who was in those years its director of operations.

Sánchez-Prieto worked with Gallego at Iberia Express since its creation in 2012 as chief financial officer and corporate areas. Both had already agreed in Air Nostrum, where the former began his career in the aviation sector in 2001, while the latter held various positions between 1997 and 2006. As for the new CEO of Vueling, it is Italian Marco Sansavini, with a long international experience in the air sector, which joined Iberia in December 2012 as commercial director. Since its incorporation, Sansavini has launched the commercial transformation initiatives of the Spanish airline, with the aim of reaching sustainable income levels, reports Efe.

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