JetBlue Airways announced Thursday evening that executive vice president and chief commercial officer Robin Hayes will become president on January 1, 2014.

JetBlue CEO Dave Barger currently holds the president position and will continue his role as CEO after the transition.

Hayes has worked at the airline since 2008 when he left British Airways to become JetBlue’s chief commercial officer. Hayes will continue to oversee the airline’s revenue, network, sales, marketing and communications strategy, in-flight service and customer support. He will now also be in charge of operations.

A JetBlue spokesperson describes the decision as follows, “This is a natural fit given the synergies between our Commercial and Operations teams, and Robin’s nearly two decades of operations experience at British Airways. This change will help us to better execute our business plan by aligning Commercial and Operations more closely.”

Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel analyst with Hudson Crossing, says, “I expect Dave Barger will focus more on the airline’s strategy. The airline has a number of options to consider. Dave can focus on that while Robin guides the airline through its day-to-day challenges.”

The news comes on the same day that JetBlue launched in-flight Wi-Fi.

Photo Credit: A JetBlue engine on a flight over Long Island in New York. Samantha Shankman / Skift