Willie Walsh faces tough questioning from MPs

Willie Walsh faced a series of questions via video conference from MPs at a Select Committee meeting this morning.

Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) was quizzed on a range of topics, including potential redundancies at BA, passenger refunds and how airlines will help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Huw Merriman MP, Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee, orchestrated a number of questions from fellow MPs from all sides of the House and drew out significant comments from Walsh.

Among the topics covered were:

  • Potential redundancies among BA staff and the consultation process.
  • The refunds due to passengers for cancelled flights and rearranged bookings.
  • State aid accessed by airlines within the group, including a Spanish government-backed loan of up to €1bn and UK government aid totalling in the region of £300m.
  • The level of cash being burned by IAG during the coronavirus-forced cessation of services.
  • Press reports of IAG “buying” 200 aircraft from Boeing – a purchase Walsh explained had not been confirmed.
  • The actions airlines within IAG will be taking to protect passengers and staff from coronavirus.

We will be publishing further information on some of these issues later this week.