Conte steps down from Iberia

IBERIA’S chairman, Fernando Conte (near right) has left the company, standing aside for former Altadis chairman Antonio Vazquez (far right).

The airline said that the change would not have any adverse effect on the British Airways merger plans. It has been reported that one of Iberia’s main shareholders – Caja Madrid – had signalled that it was unhappy at the merger’s slow rate of progress but a spokesperson denied that this ahd anything to do with Conte’s departure.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with shareholder pressure, the merger with British Airways, or results,” the spokesman said. “The merger discussions continue. This does not affect them in any way.”

Instead, Conte said that his already announced plans to leave before March 2010 had meant an early search for his successor and that in Vazquez the company had simply found him sooner than expected.

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