Willie Walsh says Brexit will not have ‘material impact’ on IAG’s business
A Brexit vote would not have a material impact on the airline business, according to Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG). Last year, he said he was “pro-Europe”, adding that he believed the UK is better off within the EU from a business point of view. On Radio 4’s Today programme he said IAG had taken advice from a number of sources, looked at it within the company and done a risk analysis. Though there is a lot of uncertainty, the view of IAG is that leaving the EU would not have much impact on them. The low cost airlines fear Brexit could mean higher air fares. Ryanair apparently plans a poster campaign on his own planes, encouraging customers to vote to stay in the EU. Heathrow and Gatwick airports are in favour of Britain staying in the EU, for their businesses. Willie Walsh had previously spoken out about the impact of a possible Brexit on Ireland’s economy, but urged fellow Irish chief executives to stay out of the debate. IAG has announced profits of €2.34bn for the year ending 31 December 2015 – a year-on-year increase of 125%. Helped by the low price of jet fuel, (and savings not passed on to passengers?)
Willie Walsh: Brexit will not have ‘material impact’ on business
By Tom Newcombe (Buying Business Travel)
26 Feb 2016
The chief executive of British Airways parent company IAG has said a ‘Brexit’ from the European Union would not have an impact on its business.
The head of the company which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling did admit the impending referendum was causing “uncertainty” in the market.
Speaking to BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme about what impact a vote to leave the EU would have, Walsh said: “We have taken advice from a number of sources, we have looked at this internally, we have undertaken a risk analysis.
“Obviously there is uncertainty in the market which is weighing on people’s minds. But our view is should there be a vote we don’t believe it will have a material impact on our business,” Walsh added.
His comments follow a number of bosses from aviation businesses including Easyjet, Ryanair and Heathrow that have all backed the ‘In’ campaign.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said the airline remains a “committed supporter” of the UK remaining in Europe.
“As the UK’s largest airline, Ryanair is absolutely clear that the UK economy and its future growth prospects are stronger as a member of the European Union than they are outside of the EU,” O’Leary said.
Brexit won’t have “material impact” on British Airways, chief executive says
There’s a very interesting intervention from Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways, who has said that a Brexit will not have a “material impact” on his business.
David Cameron yesterday suggested that a Brexit could push up air fares. However Mr Walsh told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: “We have taken advice from a number of sources, we have looked at this internally, we have undertaken a risk analysis.
“Obviously there is uncertainty in the market which is weighing on people’s minds. But our view is should there be a vote we don’t believe it will have a material impact on our business.”
His comments came after a rival airline boss, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, said on Wednesday that he would actively campaign to keep the UK in the EU.
Mr O’Leary accepted that Brexit would not be “the end of the world” and predicted that it alone would not cause UK air fares to rise.
But he warned there would be “undoubtedly three or four years of uncertainty and less economic growth”.