13 JUNE 2022


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Article from BTNews 13 JUNE 2022

BA blames Government for airport chaos *

The normally low profile Luis Gallego, Chief Executive, IAG, has blasted the UK Government for the current airport chaos with a Sunday Times interview by Jim Armitage published yesterday.

In a briefing at British Airways Waterside headquarters Gallego challenged Transport Minister Grant Shapps' claim that “poor planning and overbooking flights” was to blame for many of the problems during the recent holiday.

Whilst admitting that “all sides” had made mistakes, Gallego, in charge since Willie Walsh's departure to IATA, said that the UK Government's policies were the key reason why transport chaos was worse in Britain than in Spain or Ireland, where IAG owned the major airlines.

“In Spain, the furlough scheme offered more money for employees and lasted right through until (this) March”, Gallego said.  “The British scheme ended in September 2021, even before Omicron hit”.

Asked if BA would be able to get to similar operating levels as Iberia, where punctuality is close to 90%, he said: “I think it will be very difficult. We can improve but it is going to be very difficult”.  In April BA was operating at 67% capacity and 68% punctuality.  In fairness to BA it is a vastly bigger operation than Iberia with 253 aircraft against 79. Financially, staff, passenger numbers, everything else is largely pro rata, a much more complex airline to run.

For the full Sunday Times article go HERE If you are not a subscriber, they give you one month free.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

IAN Berry, United Kingdom

Tis the Spaniards who own both BA and LHR. they either sacked the staff or chopped their wages by 10%. Why try blaming the UK Govt?

Sally Stokes, Windsor

Mr Shapps has had much credit on some of the way he has dealt with the media over the last two years. Blaming the industry for “poor planning and overbooking flights” is a weak argument. It’s 50/50.

John Smart, Westminster

I really think that a Spaniard sitting in a British office has the cheek to criticise the UK government. Would it happened in reverse. NO.