HomeAir LineIAG finalizes the new leadership of Iberia, Vueling and Level with executives...

IAG finalizes the new leadership of Iberia, Vueling and Level with executives from the house

The profiles with the most possibilities are those of Marco Sansavini, Rafael Jiménez Hoyos and Carolina Martinoli

The CEO of IAG, Luis Gallego, together with the president of Iberia, Fernando Candela.Ángel Colmenares (EFE)

The expected retirement of Fernando Candela as president of Iberia will generate a succession of changes in the main offices of IAG’s Spanish airlines, which will affect, according to sources close to the group, both the aforementioned Iberia and the low-cost brands. Vueling and Level. The decision is in the hands of the holding’s CEO, Luis Gallego, and everything indicates that the presentation of results on the 29th will be used to announce the appointments.

In Barcelona the name of Rafael Jiménez Hoyos, director of operations of Iberia, is heard insistently as the emerging figure for Level and even Vueling. And from the headquarters of the latter, Marco Sansavini would return to Madrid to take over from Candela as president of the largest Spanish network airline. In the environment of these executives, no information about upcoming announcements in this regard is stated or denied.

The other bishop of Gallego’s greatest confidence and with the greatest options to lead one of the three Spanish companies is Carolina Martinoli, director of People, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at IAG. Martinoli works in London and would be about to return to Spain, where she already held the position of Marketing Director at Iberia between 2011 and 2015, a position she repeated at British Airways from 2017 to 2021. It so happens that Gallego became accompany this directive on January 19 during his visit to La Moncloa to convey to President Pedro Sánchez investment plans in this country for 6,000 million for the next five years.

The meeting took place in the midst of the acquisition of Air Europa, an operation that is being examined by the EU Competition Directorate General. Luis Gallego’s advisors, in consultation with this newspaper, separate the presence of Carolina Martinoli at that appointment from a possible presentation to Pedro Sánchez as the next president of Iberia.

Bet on experience

Marco Sansavini took over the presidency of Vueling in September 2020, after having played a highly relevant role in the transformation of Iberia’s image and product. The deep crisis experienced by the airline ended with nearly 4,000 layoffs in 2013. Iberia then lost one million euros a day and was able to turn the situation around until it earned that same amount every day before the pandemic.

The fit of this Italian economist at Vueling was perfect. The Catalan company has its main bases in Spain, France and Italy, and Sansavini had known those markets first-hand through his career at the aforementioned Iberia and before that at KLM, Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Having signed the labor agreements with the different Vueling groups, and with the consolidated operation in both Spain and France, IAG could now afford to replace the president of the low cost.

Rafael Jiménez Hoyos, for his part, has military pilot training, working for the North American Air Force and the Águila Patrol in Spain; He is an A320 commander, and serves as Iberia’s Production Director. Different sources highlight his solvency in the operational field and a notable effort in recent years to dominate the financial part of the business. It remains to be proven his ability to lead labor relations, where he has taken part in numerous negotiations, but as head of Production.

Previously, Jiménez Hoyos has been part of Clickair, Vueling, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum, following the path of other notables of the group such as Luis Gallego (CEO of IAG), Javier Sánchez Prieto (former president of Iberia and Vueling), Carlos Gómez (president of Iberia Express) or Fernando Candela (former president of Iberia Express and current chief executive of Iberia).

The departure of the aforementioned Sánchez Prieto from Iberia, in May of last year, caused Candela to change London for Madrid, and the Transformation management at IAG for the presidency of Iberia. That last position had an expiration date of December 31, 2023, a deadline that has been exceeded to resolve the labor dispute for ground services (handling) in Iberia. With that fire already out, after strikes around Reyes, it is taken for granted that Candela will not start the next summer season, at the end of March, at the head of the airline.

Both Jiménez Hoyos and Carolina Martinoli are part of the board of directors of Iberia representing IAG. Sansavini, for his part, sits on IAG’s management committee. The three, along with Candela, are in Luis Gallego’s inner circle.

Based in Barcelona-El Prat and regaining flight after the health crisis, Level is managing to obtain its own air operator certificate (AOC), which will gain independence from Iberia, on which its long-haul production depends. low cost to America. The young airline is designing a new management team and has hired Gianfranco Giacchetti as Director of Operations. His resume includes positions of responsibility at Vueling, Volotea or Level itself, for which he worked in a previous stage between 2019 and 2022. The departure of Fernando Candela will also leave the position of president of the airline vacant. The new manager must lay the foundations to replicate Iberia’s operations in Madrid-Barajas with Level in Barcelona-El Prat.

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Source: Cincodias

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