October 22, 2016

British Airways boss threatens to expand airline overseas over Heathrow runway ‘dithering’

THE boss of British Airways (BA) has warned he could seek to expand the airline overseas if the Government “twiddles its thumbs” over a third runway at Heathrow.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG, said the firm could focus on growing its business from Spain or Ireland rather than London.

His comments come after the Government announced a final decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow has been put off until at least next summer.

Mr Walsh said: “We’re a small island, and this Government looks set to make us even smaller on the world stage.

“Our leaders bestride the world saying the UK is open for business, but their actions do not match the rhetoric.

“If the Government continues to dither over a new runway, then I’ll move my business elsewhere.”

Writing in the Daily Mail, he added: “We now have airlines in Dublin and Madrid, and can expand our business there, supporting the strengthening Irish and Spanish economies.

“This is not just fighting talk – we have the practical ability to expand elsewhere.”

He claimed Spain and Ireland would enjoy “economic benefits and new jobs” while Britain “twiddles its thumbs and watches as the world progresses around it”.

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