LONDON – Virgin Atlantic has today announced that its current Chief Commercial Officer, Shai Weiss, will take the reins of the airline as its new CEO when Craig Kreeger steps down at the end of the year.

Weiss has been with Virgin Atlantic since 2012 and became Head of Finance in 2014 before assuming the role of CCO since February last year.

Following the promotion of Weiss, the carrier has announced that it will embark on a mid-range corporate plan dubbed ‘Velocity’ starting from next year.

Virgin Atlantic expects that the current joint ventures with Delta and Air France-KLM are going to contribute a significant amount of proceeds to this plan.

Concluding on his tenure as CEO, Kreeger said that, “As we embark on Velocity, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the leadership baton to Shai and for me to begin a new chapter,” states Kreeger.

The outgoing CEO, who took up the role in February 2013, highlights the priority he attached to “empowering our people” and points to the airline’s “transformed” financial performance.

Kudos from Richard Branson

The carrier’s president, Richard Branson, gave massive thanks to Kreeger for the “fantastic job” he has performed during his tenure.

Branson added that Kreeger “has focused our people on providing the best customer service by refreshing our onboard experience, bringing in new planes and bringing us closer to our partner Delta.”

Delta’s CEO, Ed Bastian, credited Kreeger for his “important contributions” to the “success of our transatlantic joint venture.”

“Now is a great time for Shai to succeed Craig and lead Virgin Atlantic as we enter a new and exciting chapter.” This, he notes, will involve the combination of the Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership and the US carrier’s separate one with Air France-KLM and Alitalia.

With Kreeger taking control of Virgin Atlantic, it seems that this shift in leadership comes following the losses that the airline posted in the past few months.