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Willie Walsh became chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) when the company was created in January 2011, joining from British Airways where he was chief executive from October 2005.
IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL. It is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 588 aircraft flying to 279 destinations and carrying around 113 million passengers each year.
Prior to joining British Airways, he was chief executive at Aer Lingus, a position he was appointed to in the aftermath of 9/11.
Born in Dublin in 1961, Willie joined Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot. He held several management positions in Aer Lingus before being appointed chief executive of Futura, a Spanish charter airline owned by Aer Lingus in 1998. He returned to Dublin with Aer Lingus in 2000 where he took up the role of chief operating officer and was subsequently appointed as chief executive in October 2001.
He completed a Master of Science in Management and Business Administration at Dublin’s Trinity College in 1992.