JOHN Menzies has appointed a veteran of the aviation services industry as its new chief financial officer after suffering setbacks since deciding to focus on the sector.

Edinburgh-based Menzies said Alvaro Gomez-Reino will take up the post and join the company’s board on December 1. He previously served as chief financial officer at Menzies’ biggest rival Swissport.

Mr Gomez-Reino will succeed Giles Wilson who became chief executive in June.

The previous chief executive, Forsyth Black, left in March, when Menzies highlighted “soft cargo volumes” and continuing labour challenges in North America.

John Menzies falls into red amid cut backs by airlines

The company severed its historic links with the newspaper business last year by selling its distribution business for £74.5 million. Directors saw better prospects in the aviation support market.

However, Menzies highlighted tough conditions in the aviation market in August, when the company revealed it had slumped into the red in the first half.

Menzies also announced yesterday that it had beefed up its board by appointing a chief operating officer. Mervyn Walker was promoted to the post after being recruited in April to help lead a drive to strengthen operational discipline, cost control and productivity.

John Menzies appoints new chairman as shake up at logistics group continues

Menzies said Mr Gomez-Reino and Mr Walker will be members of a new executive management board, along with Mr Wilson. It noted the management board’s focus will be on “bringing back a customer centric approach and becoming the provider of choice” for the group’s customers.

The management board will be headed by Philipp Joeinig, who became chairman of John Menzies in July after Dermot Smurfit notified the board of his intention step down.

Shares in John Menzies closed up 1p at 400p.

They sold for 645p on the day the sale of the distribution division was announced.