US airline veteran to lead Oneworld alliance

US airline industry veteran Nat Pieper is to take the helm of the British Airways-backed Oneworld alliance.

He joins as chief executive on April 1 from Alaska Airlines where he is senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances.

Pieper succeeds Rob Gurney, who announced his decision to step down last May after six years.

Pieper previously held executive positions at Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines overseeing international, strategic, alliance and financial functions.

He will lead the 13-member airline grouping through its 25th anniversary celebration year and focus on strengthening the alliance between its partners. Oman Air is due to join Oneworld this year.

Pieper orchestrated Alaska Airlines’ entrance into Oneworld, executed aircraft transactions valued at more than $9 billion, and secured access to $5 billion in liquidity to ensure the carrier’s viability through the pandemic.

He will report to the alliance’s governing board, comprised of the member airline chief executives.

Oneworld chair Robert Isom, American Airlines chief executive, said: “With more than 25 years of working in the industry, Nat has the experience to enhance Oneworld’s position as the premier airline alliance, modernising travel for millions of customers and Oneworld frequent flyers.”

Pieper added: “In my airline career, I have admired from afar and now experienced first-hand the influence and benefits the Oneworld alliance brings to an airline and its customers.

“I am thrilled to join the Oneworld family and look forward to working with all of the best-in-class carriers that are part of our alliance. The future of the Oneworld alliance is bright and I am ready to continue to develop the alliance into its next 25 years.”

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