IAG names new chair amid changing of the guard at airlines group

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - British Airways-owner IAG named Javier Ferran as its new chairman on Friday, due to take over at the beginning of next year, just months after a new chief executive takes the reins and as the pandemic batters the travel market.

Ferran, who is also chairman of the world’s largest spirits maker Diageo, has been on the IAG board since 2019 and will replace Antonio Vazquez.

Ferran said that the airline group, which posted a record loss on Friday and said it planned to raise 2.75 billion euros from shareholders to get through the crisis, had a strong future.

“I am committed to leading the group through this crisis and working with Luis (Gallego) to build a strong future, in which the group will continue to take a leading role in the industry,” Ferran said in an IAG statement on Friday.

By the time he steps down at the end of this year, chairman Vazquez will have been at the helm for almost ten years with his tenure dating back to the formation of IAG in 2011 through the merger of British Airways and Iberia.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG since it was created, is due to retire on Sept. 8 and will be succeeded by Iberia boss Luis Gallego.

Reporting by Sarah Young