Icelandair names new CEO, cargo chief and VPs

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Icelandair has appointed Birkir Holm Gudnason as its new CEO, replacing acting chief Bjorgolfur Johannsson who will continue in his role as Icelandair Group CEO.

Gudnason, who was most recently Icelandair general manager for Scandinavia, has held a range of sales and regional management roles since he joined Icelandair eight years ago.

Johannsson says: “There are immediate issues facing us in the form of higher fuel prices and consumer demand following economic uncertainties, and a firm hand is needed at the controls of the airline.”

These uncertainties include soaring inflation rates. Over the last three months, Icelandic inflation has hit an annual equivalent of 28% - the highest level since September 1990.

Yesterday Icelandair announced the resignation of Icelandair Cargo managing director Petur Eiriksson. The carrier says Icelandair senior VP for sales and marketing Gunnar Mar Sigurfinnsson will replace Eiriksson as head of the freight division.

Sigurfinnsson, who has been in his present role for three years, has previously held roles including general manager for central Europe and Air Iceland sales manager. His former role as Icelandair senior VP for sales and marketing will be filled by Helgi Mar Bjorgvinsson, who is general manager for UK and Ireland.

Icelandair has also named Arni Hermannsson and Erlendur Svavarsson as senior VPs of Icelandair Group’s Global Capacity Solutions Segment, which includes Loftleidir Icelandic, Bluebird Cargo, Icelease, Travelservice in the Czech Republic and Latcharter in Latvia.

Hermannsson and Svavarsson will lead co-ordination and strategic development projects for the segment. Hermannsson will will take on his new duties alongside his role as Loftleidir Icelandic chief financial officer, which he has held since 2002.

Svavarsson has been with Icelandair Group and its predecessors since 2003. His most recent role was Loftleidir Icelandic chief commercial officer.