Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Walsh denies IAG interest in Aer Lingus


Walsh denies IAG interest in Aer Lingus

International Airlines Group boss Willie Walsh has confirmed an interest in both BMI and TAP Air Portugal but has ruled out a bid for Aer Lingus.
He said he wanted to create £400 million in “synergies” within five years at British Airways and Iberia parent IAG through cost savings and new revenues and wanted to turn the company into a “multinational, multibrand” similar to other sectors.
But Walsh said he was not interested in Aer Lingus because of its £350 million pension deficit. Speculation that IAG may swoop for Aer Lingus emerged last week when both its main shareholders, including Ryanair, signalled their willingness to sell. 
Speaking at the London Irish Business Society in London, Walsh said IAG was in acquisition mode,The Guardian reported.
But he said it was not going to be “rushed” or “driven by predetermined deadlines” but “by getting the right airlines at the right time for IAG. We've made no secret of our interest in BMI and no secret in the merit of looking at TAP.”
Walsh also attacked the Government's decision not to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow because of environmental concerns as “laughable” when countries such as China were building many new airports.