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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.

Iberia Strike Called Off.

Next week’s planned strike action by Iberia workers has, thankfully, now been called off. Unions representing most workers at the Spanish airline cancelled next week’s industrial action after they accepted a mediator’s proposal regarding the proposed job losses. Iberia’s management have also accepted the proposal.

Phew!

Iberia Workers Strike Set To Continue.

Following on from last week’s strike by Iberia cabin crew, ground staff and maintenance workers, a reminder that this series of planned industrial action looks set to continue in the near future.

Further action is planned for 4th – 8th March and 18th – 22nd March.

Iberia Strike Action.

Please note that Iberia’s Cabin Crew and Ground Staff have voted for strike action from 18 to 22 February 2013.

Iberia are, therefore, offering passengers (with a ticket number starting 075) the choice of changing the date of their flights, or, on a refund on them. We (Global Travel Management Ltd) have already begun the process of contacting those customers who have booked a flight with us, during the aforementioned period, to assist with any changes, however, should you not have heard from us please do get in contact.

Northeast USA Weather Alert.

A winter storm with heavy snow has caused disruption to the transport networks across the Northeastern Seaboard of the USA.

Thus far we have received re-booking instructions from American Airlines. These also apply to the codeshare operated services of British Airways & Iberia (where the operating carrier is American Airlines).

The airports currently affected are : Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Harrisburg, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, Washington DC, Watertown & Westchester County.

Please contact us for further re-booking information if your flight is affected.

Planned Iberia Strike Cancelled.

Further to our post below, regarding workers at Spain’s national airline, Iberia, carrying out a series of strikes which were due to start today (Fri 14th Dec); these have now been cancelled.

Unfortunately though the unions representing some of Iberia’s workers have threatened to strike again from early January, although this has not been confirmed yet.

Please keep checking our web site for further updates.

 

Iberia Pre-Christmas Industrial Action.

Unions representing Iberia’s ground staff and cabin crew have announced six days of strike action, to be staged before Christmas.

The dates announced for industrial action are December 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th & 21st.

The strikes are being held in protest at restructuring plans announced by the airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG). The plan, announced on 9 November, aims to stem the carrier’s cash losses by mid-2013 and add €600 million to profitability by 2015.

IAG says that cutting network capacity by 15% and reducing headcount by 4,500 will help it do this. At the time, Rafael Sánchez-Lozano, Iberia’s chief executive, said: “Iberia is in fight for survival. It is unprofitable in all its markets. We have to take tough decisions now to save the company and return it to profitability. Unless we take radical action to introduce permanent structural change the future for the airline is bleak. However this plan gives us a platform to turn the business around and grow.”

The leaders of five unions representing Iberia staff – UGT, CCOO, USO, Asetma and Sictpla  – say they “will not be complicit in a plan that
would destroy Iberia” and have refused to negotiate with the airline’s management.

Industrial Action in Southern Europe.

Further to our update below, posted on 7th November, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) strike, backed by unions in Greece, Portugal, Spain and the Canary Islands, could lead to many flights being disrupted for up to three days this week (13-15 November).

Passengers booked to fly on all affected European sectors should therefore checkin online for the most up to date information regarding their flight/s. Easyjet has already cancelled many of its flights to countries in southern Europe. British Airways said passengers due to travel to or from Spain on Wednesday 14 November can change to another date free of charge; they also warned that there could be disruptions on services to other European countries.

Iberia has cancelled more than 350 flights this week, including those on the Madrid to London route as a result of the strike, which affects air traffic controlers. TAP Portugal has announced that London to Lisbon flights will also be affected on 13 November and 15 November.

Tomorrow’s industrial action, which has been organised by the European Trade Union Confederation, is in response to austerity measures being taken by the governments of several southern European countries. Protest marches, rallies and strikes will affect different countries at different times.