Posts Tagged ‘willie walsh’


[Sky News] A consortium wins the race to land the airport in London’s Docklands and pledges to continue expansion efforts.

City Airport's expansion plans have endured turbulence on pollution grounds

City Airport’s expansion plans have endured turbulence on pollution grounds. Image courtesy: Sky News

A consortium including Canadian pension funds and Kuwait’s investment arm is to pay around £2bn for London City Airport.

The business was put up for sale last summer by Global Infrastructure Partners – the private equity firm – which paid a third of that sum when it acquired the airport in 2006.

In that time, passenger numbers have doubled to 4.3 million in 2015 – an 18% rise on the previous year’s total – but Global’s ambitions for the site in the Docklands area have been largely thwarted.

London’s mayor Boris Johnson has sided with campaigners who fear that City’s plans to double passenger traffic by 2030 will mean more noise and pollution.

The consortium – made up of the Ontario Teachers, Borealis and Aimco pension funds and Kuwait’s Wren House – said in a statement it was “committed to the responsible, long-term ownership and development of London City Airport to ensure its continued strong position and reputation as a key airport for London”.

The statement added:……

Read the full story here at Sky News…..

 


Sky News
26th February, 2016



[Telegraph] Heathrow could be reduced to the status of a “local airport” because of the Government’s aviation policy, ministers have been warned.

The fears voiced by Colin Matthews are shared by a number of influential business figures.

The fears voiced by Colin Matthews are shared by a number of influential business figures.  Photo: Wikipedia

Colin Matthews, the chief executive of BAA, which owns Heathrow, voiced fears that the airport’s demise would cause huge damage to London’s economy.

While the Government has said it will review airport capacity in the South East, a third runway at Heathrow has been ruled out by the Coalition.

The fears voiced by Mr Matthews are shared by a number of influential business figures.

Last month Katja Hall, the CBI’s Chief Policy Director, warned that Britain was in danger of becoming a “branch line” unless it action was taken.

Speaking to London’s Evening Standard, Mr Matthews said Heathrow was being overtaken by continental rivals including Frankfurt and Paris.

“We’ve only got about 15 years, we do need to do something now,” he said.

“There is the option of doing nothing. But that simply means that business that should go to the UK will go to Frankfurt, Paris or Amsterdam instead.”

Heathrow is also facing competition for traffic from major hubs further afield, notably Dubai which is set to take over the mantle as the world’s largest international airport by 2016.

A number of senior figures in the aviation industry have urged the Government to rethink its policy on Heathrow, including Willie Walsh, the head of the International Airlines Group. British Airways’ parent company.

Others to join the chorus in recent weeks have included……

Read the full story at The Telegraph….


By , Transport Editor

14 May 2012



[Guardian] The boss of BA and Iberia airlines owner says he will not take part in consultations as some options have been ruled out in advance. 

Willie Walsh's IAG is the largest airline group at Heathrow

Willie Walsh’s IAG is the largest airline group at Heathrow. Photo: ps group

Willie Walsh, the boss of International Airlines Group, has said he will not be engaging in the coalition’s long-awaited consultation on the future of Britain’s airports because the government “has no idea what it is talking about”.

The overdue draft aviation policy is expected to be published this summer along with a call for evidence on hub airport capacity. Walsh and others, notably the airport operator BAA, have long argued that a hub airport – one sufficiently large to allow connecting passengers to fill long-haul routes – is crucial and that Heathrow, Britain’s only hub, is no longer big enough to allow flights to new destinations. As the owner of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia, IAG is the largest airline group at Heathrow.

Walsh said: “When I hear the government talking about an intelligent use of capacity at Heathrow – they have no idea what they are talking about. This is the government that cancelled the third runway. They don’t know what they are talking about. I’ve no confidence that this government will able to meet the challenge.”

Walsh questioned whether the consultation would be “real”, saying: “If they close off options before they start, I don’t see the merit in engaging with it.”

The coalition has ruled out a third Heathrow runway, and last week the transport secretary, Justine Greening, said “mixed mode” – allowing takeoffs and landings on the same runway – would also not be considered. However, Greening said the government would look at other, unspecified ways of maximising Heathrow’s capacity.

George Osborne, the chancellor, has said the government will explore all options for maintaining Britain’s airport hub capacity with the exception of a third runway at Heathrow.

Walsh said: “We need to be honest and mature – if you’re going to have a……

Read the full story at The Guardian…..


Gwyn Topham, transport correspondent
guardian.co.uk
Friday 11 May 2012



[Herald Scotland] The future of Aberdeen based BMI Regional has been secured after British Airways’ parent company agreed to sell it to a consortium of local businessmen for £8 million, creating Scotland’s biggest indigenous airline.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: "This deal provides a future for BMI Regional."

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This deal provides a future for BMI Regional.” Photo: Wikipedia

 The cash deal with Sector Aviation Holdings (SAH) safeguards flights from 14 destinations in the UK and Europe, together with around 330 jobs and is now awaiting approval by the Civil Aviation Authority.

It follows the recent sale of the loss-making BMI by Lufthansa to International Airlines Group (IAG) for £807m, a deal that left the future of smaller subsidiaries BMI Regional and BMI Baby in doubt.

The SAH consortium was led by Ian Woodley, who founded Business Air before it became BMI Regional after being sold to British Midland in 1996, and funded by Stephen and Peter Bond, part of the family behind Bond Offshore Helicopters who are also investors in Scottish airline Loganair.

Ownership is expected to transfer to SAH within two weeks.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This deal provides a future for BMI Regional.”

A spokesman for SAH said it would initially operate under the BMI Regional banner but that further plans were yet to be announced. He said there were no plans for any job cuts.

BMI Regional operates a fleet of 18 Embraer jets, each with a seating capacity of between 40 and 50, and caters mostly to the business market. Rival Loganair also operates 18 aircraft but with a smaller capacity.

The Granite consortium, as they had been known, were said to be close to a deal with Lufthansa last year to purchase BMI Regional for between £20m and £25m, with plans to expand services offered to UK business passengers. But the deal faltered due to problems with……

Read the full story at Herald Scotland…..


Herald Scotland
Friday 11 May 2012



[Evening Standard] David Cameron was today told by the country’s top airline boss to “sort out” the chaos at Britain’s borders or face losing billions of pounds in business and tourism revenues.

Walsh: Sort out Heathrow queues or lose business and tourists

Walsh: Sort out Heathrow queues or lose business and tourists

Willie Walsh, head of the Inter-national Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Iberia and Bmi, said delays at Britain’s major airports had worsened significantly because of cuts and poor management and had now reached “unacceptable” levels.

He said business chiefs were shunning Britain as a result and that it was pointless for the Prime Minister to travel round the world proclaiming that Britain was “open for business” when visitors were treated badly on arrival.

Mr Walsh’s attack came as passengers reaching Heathrow complained of being treated like a “bunch of slaves” after waiting up to three hours with passport control desks unmanned.

Some complained of spending longer in immigration queues than on their flights and of being left without food, water or adequate assistance. Others said they were “never coming back” because of the “nightmare” delays.

The problems add to mounting anger about queues that left thousands of travellers, including Formula One teams and TV historian Mary Beard, suffering delays at Heathrow this week. Immigration unions have fuelled the concerns by claiming waits of up to five hours are happening daily at airports and passengers are being “kettled” to cope with the queues.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Walsh said the problems were inflicting economic damage on the…..

Read the full interview at The Evening Standard…..


Martin Bentham
26 April 2012



[Reuters] British Airways and Iberia owner IAG will close two loss-making subsidiaries inherited from the acquisition of Lufthansa’s UK unit Bmi if it is unable to sell them, IAG’s chief executive Willie Walsh said on today.

IAG is struggling to sell the low-cost and regional divisions bmibaby and regional

IAG is struggling to sell the low-cost and regional divisions bmibaby and regional

IAG last year agreed a 172.5 million pounds deal to buy bmi and plans to keep the traditional airline, but is struggling to sell the low-cost and regional divisions bmibaby and regional.

“We are in discussions with parties interested in those airlines. We are ready to do a deal and capable of doing so, but if we don’t see any movement on selling them… then we will look to close those businesses,” Walsh said.

“They do not form part of the future of IAG,” he told the AFCA aircraft finance conference in Barcelona……

Read the full story at Reuters….


Reporting by Tim Hepher
Reuters – 25th April 2012



Dubai is set to overtake Heathrow by 2016 as the world’s largest international airport.

By 2020 Dubai expects to cater for 90 million passengers. Photo: Alamy

By 2020 Dubai expects to cater for 90 million passengers. Photo: Alamy

Last year Heathrow handled 69.4 million passengers. With both parties opposing expansion and the building of a third runway, it is set to be eclipsed by   its international vals.

By 2020 Dubai expects to cater for 90 million passengers thanks to expansion of existing terminals and the construction of a new one capable of handling   20 giant Airbus A380s.

Even this will be dwarfed by Dubai’s plans for a new monster airport by the middle of the next decade.

With five runways, it is anticipated that it will be cater for 160 million people by the late 2020s.

Its expansion plans along with the aggressive growth of Paris and Frankfurt has intensified pressure from aviation and business leaders for the   Government to have a change of heart.

Katja Hall, the CBI’s Chief Policy Director, warned that Britain was in danger of becoming a “branch line” unless it action was taken.

“The eleven major policy reviews on airport capacity since the last full-length runway was opened in the south of England in 1948 illustrate the   degree of political challenge here. But the consequences of this indecision   can no longer be ignored,” she said.

“The UK is becoming a branch-line destination on the route map of global airlines. This is a damaging break in the UK’s export chain, and its   consequences are a real concern for businesses across the country.”

Willie Walsh, the head of the International Airlines Group, welcomed the Coalition’s decision to reopen the debate on runway capacity in the South   East, but added that all options should be considered.

James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad, also called for Heathrow to be allowed to expand…..

Read the full Daily Telegraph story….


David Millward

By , Transport Editor, Tokyo
18 Apr 2012