Vueling boss Alex Cruz is to take over next year as executive chairman of sister carrier British Airways.
IAG, which owns both Vueling and BA, has announced that Cruz will take over from BA’s current executive chairman Keith Williams in April 2016 when Williams is due to retire after 18 years with BA.
Cruz is currently chairman and CEO of Barcelona-based Vueling, which was acquired by IAG in 2013. He began his aviation career at American Airlines before founding Spanish low-cost carrier Clickair in 2006, which merged three years later with Vueling.
Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, said: “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.”
IAG has also announced that Nick Swift will step down as BA’s chief financial officer in April 2016 and will be replaced by Steve Gunning, who is currently CEO of IAG Cargo.
Meanwhile BA has confirmed that it plans to offer wifi connectivity across its short-haul and long-haul fleet from 2017.
IAG said it is “evaluating wifi retrofit” for more than 100 existing long-haul aircraft" while the company is looking at “extending Inmarsat’s Air-to-Ground (ATG) offer” to more than 300 short-haul aircraft.
The airline group said that the first short-haul aircraft to offer ATG wifi will be fitted in 2017. IAG also wants 90% of its long-haul fleet to be fitted with wifi by 2019.
BA has been trialling long-haul wifi on a B747 for over 12 months during 2014 and into 2015.