28 NOVEMBER 2016
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Waterside is again the home of IAG, chief executive Willie Walsh confirming its return from rented accommodation in Heathrow’s World Business Centre in an AOA conference speech. No explanation was given but with British Airways contributing to 89% of the group's earnings according to the latest accounts clearly it is still ‘mañana’ for true Iberia profits. Presumably it is a cost cutting move.
Mr Walsh refused to respond directly to a question by this publication regarding APD but was optimistic that it might be reduced in last Wednesday’s Autumn Statement. This was proven wrong with the government clearly not in mood to give away taxes in a sector that continues to grow. The revenue would have had to be found from somewhere else. Mr Walsh quoted the success of Dublin airport ignoring the fact that it had previously lost 25% of its business, the scrapping of the tax something of a bail-out by the Irish government. Likewise the passenger growth at Amsterdam is partially due to Germans crossing the non-existent border escaping the local departure tax.
Asked about his views on politicians Willie was evasive, but at least not as virulent as an earlier speaker, one Michael O’Leary. Mr Walsh said he had met the new Transport Minister Chris Grayling whom he respected.
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