News Column

Iberia Chief Resigns

March 27, 2013

Iberia's chief executive has stepped down following a string of strikes at the loss-making Spanish airline, it was announced Wednesday.

Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, who has headed Iberia since July 2009, resigned "by mutual agreement," parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) said.

Sanchez-Lozano will be succeeded by Luis Gallego, chief executive of the airline's subsidiary Iberia Express.

Iberia has this year faced a string of strikes which led to thousands of flights being cancelled.

Earlier this month, unions called the strikes off after Iberia agreed to axe only 3,141 jobs, instead of the initially planned 3,807 jobs.

IAG is restructuring Iberia following its merger with British Airways in 2011.

The merger had come under criticism in Spain, with critics saying it cost Iberia market share.

The Spanish airline posted operational losses of 351 million euros (456 million dollars) in 2012.

Sanchez-Lozano "has led the airline through a very difficult period" and "completed the first important step towards returning the airline to profitability," IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh said.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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