LONDON – In recent days there has been a change at the top for the Iberia group. Former CEO of Vueling, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, 51, replaces Luis Gallego after the latter’s appointment as head of the IAG parent company.

The new Chairman, Sánchez-Prieto, had served as Iberia’s Strategic Planning and Finance Manager in 2013-2016, during the period when the company finally returned to profitability following several years of losses.

Iberia plans to defer additional aircraft coming from Airbus PHOTO: Clement Alloing

Statement from Iberia’s new Chairman

Sánchez-Prieto, 51, new Iberia group Chairman, said, “It’s an honour and a great satisfaction to return to Iberia, despite the hard times the airline industry is experiencing.”

The new Chairman also said, “In recent years the Iberia team has demonstrated that it is able to meet all sorts of challenges and difficulties and has become a real success story. I’m certain that together we can pull it off once again.”

Iberia’s new chief holds a degree in economics and business from Madrid´s Complutense university, and a technical aviation engineering degree from Madrid’s Politécnica university.

Iberia Airbus A320-214 reg. EC-MEH taking off from Naples International Airport (NAP). Photo: Marco Macca – @aviator_ita

Previously, he had been a member of the founding team of the low-cost Iberia Express (I2) unit, with responsibility for strategic planning, finance. purchasing, IT systems, the aircraft fleet, human resources, and legal affairs.

Sanchez-Prieto, as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of Corporate Functions for Iberia Express, was Part of the management team responsible for the launching of the new Airline Iberia Express (Iberia Subsidiary, part of IAG Group). He was also responsible for Financial Area and Corporate Functions, comprising Strategic Planning, Finance and Accounting, Controlling, Procurement, IT, Human Resources, and Legal Department.

Earlier in his career, Sánchez-Prieto held a series of positions in the Uralita building materials group, working in strategy and as general business manager. Previously he had worked in the maintenance, strategy, and management control departments of Air Nostrum.

Javier Sánchez-Prieto, 51, new Iberia Group Executive Chairman. Photo: Iberia Group