Keith Williams is to retire as Executive Chairman of British Airways in April 2016 after 18 years at the airline. IAG has announced that Alex Cruz, currently Chairman and Chief Executive of Vueling, will take his place.In his new role, Alex will continue to report to IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh.

In addition Steve Gunning, the current Chief Executive of IAG Cargo, will become Chief Financial Officer at BA, replacing Nick Swift who is leaving the airline to pursue other opportunities with everyone’s good wishes.

Commenting on the new appointments, Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “I would like to thank Keith Williams for all that he has achieved at British Airways. It has been a great personal privilege to work with Keith for the last 10 years. Keith is not only British Airways’ executive chairman, he was fundamental to the creation of IAG. IAG is as much his legacy as is his leadership of BA.”

“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.  Steve Gunning will return to British Airways to support Alex as chief financial officer. He has been highly effective in setting up IAG’s first ever single business unit at IAG Cargo. The business is industry leading with a ground breaking operating model and cost focus.”