14 NOVEMBER 2016

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Article from BTNews 14 NOVEMBER 2016

Walsh and Clarke at WTM

Looking in sprightly form, and while not actually naming Air France, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, speaking at WTM’s featured aviation briefing last week, said the airlines' “day of reckoning would come”. He was responding to a question regarding KLM, which he inferred would work well with BA. “Never say never” was his response to a takeover question. This could have happened in 2004, but the then UK airline boss Rod Eddington had other matters to deal with.  Walsh cited too much political interference with Air France.

Sir Tim Clarke, president of Emirates, said Toulouse has no appetite for an A380 update but is confident for the aircraft’s future. His airline has 85 in service, with 45 due, although some of the earliest are coming to the end of their leases. Fifty of the aircraft are two-class with 615 seats.

Walsh suggested alliances such as oneworld and Star Alliance did add value to the business in the past but he no longer sees the commercial benefit of belonging to one. He was "doubtful" they would exist in 10 years’ time. Emirates has never joined one of the "clubs", but has a very successful pure-trading arrangement with Qantas.

www.iairgroup.com

www.emirates.com

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