IAG CEO: No additional airline acquisitions in near future
Published: June 9, 2011
International Airline Group CEO Willie Walsh told ATW that the group, formed by the merger of British Airways and Iberia in January, has no plans to acquire additional airlines in the near future. Commenting on rumors that IAG may invest in Air Berlin, he said: “We are very focused on the synergies [from BA and IB].”
Speaking on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Singapore, Walsh said he believes that high oil prices will encourage more airlines to consolidate more quickly. But he cautioned that it may not be the right time to invest in carriers. “I would never be interested in [buying] airlines [that are having difficulty operating] with fuel prices around the $ 100 per barrel mark,” he said.
IAG reported a first-quarter net profit of €33 million ($ 48.7 million) (ATW Daily News, May 9). Walsh noted that premium long-haul traffic remains strong, but the European market is still under pressure.