The board of directors of International Airlines Group has approved the succession plan for its chairman, Antonio Vázquez.
Having reached nine years in office last January, the maximum recommended in the UK corporate governance code, Vázquez will step down in January.
In his place, the board has unanimously approved the appointment of independent director Javier Ferrán.
Vázquez will continue to chair the board of directors for the remainder of 2020 subject to his proposed re-election as director being approved by the next annual general shareholders meeting.
This will enable him to support the succession of the next chief executive, with Willie Walsh expected to depart in the coming months.
Walsh said: “I sincerely appreciate Antonio’s work in the creation and development of the group.
“The management team and I have always counted on his commitment, dedication and support.
“Antonio has shown great leadership in his management of the board and has succeeded in getting the best out of everyone in good times and bad.
“Together we have created a group that has become a benchmark in the aviation industry.”
International Airlines Group is one of the largest airline groups in the world with 548 aircraft.
It is the third largest group in Europe and the sixth largest in the world, based on revenue.
Ferrán said: “It is a huge privilege to become IAG chairman and take over from Antonio.
“I would like to thank my fellow board members for their support and trust.
“I am committed to leading the group through this crisis and working with Luis to build a strong future, in which the group will continue to take a leading role in the industry.”