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Walsh spells out IAG coronavirus safety plans

Willie Walsh has told a committee of MPs his plans for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew while the coronavirus epidemic continues.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, gave evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee yesterday (Monday, 11 May)
Image: StuBaileyPhoto/Wikimedia-Commons/parliament.uk

Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) was facing MPs gathering evidence for the Transport Select Committee.

He explained,

There is very little evidence of any passenger to passenger contact spreading of the coronavirus.  That’s not to say people on flights have not got off and subsequently tested positive and spread it as a result of that. 

Walsh went on to explain the measures IAG – comprising British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and Vueling – will take:

We will take all measures and we are working with regulators to implement what I hope will be a common system across – let’s start with – Europe, and hopefully globally, will take measures that need to be taken at airports, on board the aircraft and to ensure that all of the responsible authorities are able to track and trace everybody who has come off an aircraft to ensure that, if there is anybody that tests positive, that they can be tracked.

We are working with a number of regulators.  EASA, the European Safety Agency, will be publishing a draft document some time this week which will set out the regulations that they will propose to the EU27.  I expect that to be a comprehensive document which will deal with all aspects.  We will follow any regulation that is introduced to ensure that people can be confident that it is safe to climb aboard an aircraft in this environment.

Luis Gallego to succeed retiring Willie Walsh as CEO of IAG in March

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced that Willie Walsh has decided to retire as chief executive. He will stand down from the role and from the Board of IAG on 26 March 2020 and will retire on 30 June 2020. Luis Gallego, currently Iberia chief executive, will succeed Walsh.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman, said:

Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG.  Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.

Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.

Willie has established a strong management team and I am delighted that Luis will be promoted from this team to succeed Willie as CEO. The Board is confident that Luis is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development and we look forward to working closely with Luis in his new role.

Willie Walsh said:

It has been a privilege to have been instrumental in the creation and development of IAG. I have had the pleasure of working with many exceptional people over the past 15 years at British Airways and at IAG. Luis has been a core member of the team and has shown true leadership over the years and I have no doubt he will be a great CEO of IAG.

Luis Gallego has been CEO of Iberia since March 2013 and Chairman of the airline since 2014. He will take over as CEO of IAG in March 2020.

Luis Gallego said:

It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years. It is a huge honour to lead this great company. It is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie.

IAG has not yet named Gallego’s successor at Iberia.

If you need to book flights on any of IAG’s airlines – Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, LEVEL or Vueling – contact your GTM Account Manager.

Heathrow Terminal 2 To Open In One Year.

Heathrow Airport will open its new Terminal 2 in less than a years time. The £2.5 billion facility will eventually serve 20 million passengers each year after opening its doors on June 4, 2014.

The first aircraft, a United Airlines flight from Chicago, is scheduled to land at 0555. Prior to the opening next June there will be six months of testing involving 14,000 people in 182 trials.

Terminal 2 will be home to 25,000 staff and 23 Star Alliance airlines, as well as Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Germanwings. It will open in phases, with the 26 airlines moving in over a period of six months. Just 10 per cent of flights will operate for the first three weeks of June before gradually building up to full operations.

Aer Lingus Staff to Strike.

Aer Lingus staff belonging to the SIPTU union are to go on strike next Monday 1st October over planned changes to their pension scheme.
Members who work at Dublin Airport Authority are also taking part in the industrial action.
SIPTU said the decision had been reached following the failure of both companies to put forward any meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
Flights and services at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports could be affected.

Whilst we (GTM) will be informing anyone whose flight is affected, please do not hesitate to contact us hould you have any concerns.