14 October, 2020

Alex Cruz replaced as British Airways CEO

International Airlines Group, the parent company of  British Airways named Sean Doyle, previously the boss of fellow IAG airline, Aer Lingus as the man to take over the top job at the British carrier, replacing Alex Cruz who leaves after a tempestuous 4.5 years in the role. 

The shakeup at the top of the UK's leading legacy carrier comes just a month after Luis Gallego became CEO of IAG, replacing the retiring Willie Walsh.  Part of Gallego's remit is to shore up the group’s finances as the various airlines learn to cope with a “new normal” as well as raise the reputations of the tarnished leading carriers. 

IAG has also announced that Fernando Candela, chief executive of low-cost brand LEVEL, is joining IAG's management committee as its chief transformation officer. Donal Moriarty will take over the top job at Aer Lingus, at least until a permanent CEO can be found. 

Cruz has angered many staff, as well as regular customers of British Airways with various changes to the airline's service standards and employee conditions. "Under Cruz control, under Walsh's gaze ripped apart BA's economy service,  to match low-cost carriers,  crammed more passengers in and cut costs dramatically,"  Jason Shaw said on Tuesday, "In addition, he instigated a fire and rehire on less pay and worse conditions for flying staff, which further tarnished BA's reputation." our editor added.  “Mr Cruz has been in the departure lounge for some time so this is no surprise,″ said Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association. “He was given a remit to cut costs and found it impossible to do that without alienating BA passengers and employees alike.”

During September, Cruz informed a select committee that the airline was “fighting for our own survival.” telling politicians that job losses were regrettable, yet there was no alternative in the current travelling environment in the pandemic. So far around 12,000 job losses have been announced that the carrier. 

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