Spanish carrier Iberia has named Fernando Candela as its new chairman and CEO, effective from July through to the end of 2023, following the departure of Javier Sánchez-Prieto.
Candela, who currently holds dual roles as the chief transformation officer at the carrier’s parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) and as CEO of budget airline Level, will take the helm temporarily before plans to retire at the end of the year.
The announcement comes as IAG posted “better than expected” quarterly earnings, with Iberia contributing a “record” first quarter profit.
In a statement the carrier said Candela, who previously led Iberia Express for six years, will “provide continuity and stability” as the group continues to develop its post-pandemic strategy, which includes plans to grow Madrid as a hub following IAG’s recent acquisition of Air Europa.
In his new role, Candela will focus on managing Iberia's debt and continue with the negotiations to finalise the Air Europa purchase, which Candela has been involved with in recent months.
IAG CEO Luis Gallego said Candela has been a “key player” in IAG and in the Iberia Group and his “extensive experience in the world of aviation and transformation will add a great deal of value to the airline”.
Outgoing CEO Sánchez-Prieto, meanwhile, will undertake new professional projects outside the aviation sector after 12 years with group and three as the head of Iberia.