Latin American airline group Avianca plans to name its new chief executive in the first two weeks of December, although its long-serving current chief Fabio Villegas might stay on longer than expected to aid the transition.

The airline has shortlisted 28 candidates and will trim this list further to five candidates, Avianca chairman German Efromovich tells Flightglobal.

He declines to elaborate on the candidates, but indicates that the airline will not necessarily pick someone with airline experience: "Villegas didn't come to us from an airline."

Avianca had initially announced that Villegas will depart the carrier at the end of the year, but Efromovich says he might stay on longer to help in the transition. "We might need an overlap," he adds.

Villegas is leaving Avianca after more than a decade with the airline, having first joined Avianca from a financial institution association in 2005.

He led Bogota-based Avianca through the merger with Central American airline group Taca, which closed in 2010.

Source: Cirium Dashboard