BA's owner IAG says eurozone woes hitting growth plans
Published: 12th Jun 2012 11:18:28
The owner of British Airways, International Airlines Group (IAG), has said that the economic woes in the eurozone have hit its expansion plans.
Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive, said its interest in buying Portugal's biggest airline TAP had "significantly waned" due to the situation in Europe.
Meanwhile, UK airport operator BAA said the eurozone problems were affecting passenger numbers at London Heathrow.
It has seen a big fall in passengers flying to countries such as Greece.
IAG had previously expressed an interest in buying TAP to boost its long-haul operations, specifically to Brazil.
The link between economic growth and demand for air travel is very clear”
However, Mr Walsh told reporters during a visit to Beijing: "We aren't looking at any acquisitions at the moment.
"I don't see there's anything likely to be available in the short term that would be of interest to us."
The latest monthly figures from BAA showed that May's passenger numbers between Heathrow and Greece were down 11.3% from a year earlier.
Numbers to and from Portugal were 11.4% lower, while Italy was down 9.2%.
BAA added that cargo flights were also affected.
In addition to Heathrow, BAA owns Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, and Aberdeen airports.
Passenger numbers across the five airports - and Edinburgh, which it sold at the end of May - totalled 9.3 million last month, down just 0.1% from a year ago.
Analyst Tim Coombs, managing director of Aviation Economics, told the BBC that it was inevitable that the economic problems in the eurozone would hit air passenger numbers.
"The link between economic growth and demand for air travel is very clear," he said.
"The situation [regarding falling passenger numbers to certain eurozone nations] at Heathrow is interesting, because at Heathrow you have both business and leisure passengers.
"Regarding Willie Walsh's comments, TAP was IAG's next takeover target, but it has been put off by its increased exposure to Spain though the merger with [Spanish carrier] Iberia."
BAA and Willie Walsh's comments come a day after trade group International Air Transport Association warned that airline losses in Europe were likely to surge as a result of the continuing difficulties in the eurozone.
At 10:01:20 in ScotlandThe death of a person whose body was found in Inverclyde is being treated as suspicious, police have said.
At 09:57:37 in SportDerby County are in talks to secure a loan deal for Blackburn Rovers striker Leon Best, reports BBC Radio Derby.
At 09:53:03 in BusinessThe pace of UK factory output slowed in July, but it is continuing to enjoy one of its strongest growth periods for 22 years, a survey has suggested.
At 09:49:38 in EnglandRepairs to the storm-damaged Castle Cornet breakwater are set to start on Friday.
At 09:46:35 in SportEngland's Jemma Simpson is considering whether to quit athletics.
At 09:43:49 in SportLaunceston director of rugby Neil Bayliss says his side must improve their away form this coming season.
At 09:42:22 in EnglandThe North East Ambulance Service Trust has referred itself to the health care watchdog after paramedics administered out-of-date drugs to patients.
At 09:36:36 in WorldIndia has hired 40 men to dress up as monkeys to scare away the real simians from parliament and government buildings in the capital, Delhi.
At 09:31:42 in ScotlandNHS Grampian says "significant progress" has been made in recruiting more staff to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary's emergency department.
At 09:28:15 in EnglandFour people have been convicted of plotting to defraud an Essex hospital of £1.1m.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. BA's owner IAG says eurozone woes hitting growth plans [Online] (Updated 12th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1434049/BAs-owner-IAG-says-eurozone-woes-hitting-growth-plans [Accessed 1st Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Eastbourne is set to get a £2m boost following a fire that left the former arcade on the town's pier a charred shell, Downing Street has said.
The death of a person whose body was found in Inverclyde is being treated as suspicious, police have said.
One Direction's Midnight Memories was 2013's biggest-selling album around the world, according to figures from the British Phonographic Institute (BPI).
The pace of UK factory output slowed in July, but it is continuing to enjoy one of its strongest growth periods for 22 years, a survey has suggested.
A man whose wife was killed in the 1993 Shankill bomb has said events commemorating paramilitaries must try to show some sensitivity to victims.
If you want to find out how hard it is to avoid becoming victim of a data breach, just ask the NSA.