British Airways chief executive, Bob Ayling, has resigned from the company after four years.
BA chairman, Lord Marshall, will take on the role of chief executive while a successor is sought.
In a statement Ayling said that the past four years had taken their toll and that he would take a break with his family before considering future career options.
Shares in the airline, which is Europe's largest, surged on the news. They jumped around 12 percent to 330 pence.