Canada Association of Tourism Employees

British Airways CEO view on the way forward for aviation

In a live interview, British Airways CEO Sean Doyle talks about the future of the airline and the aviation industry in general in this not-yet-post-pandemic world.

  1. We have never seen anything like this in aviation with the effects of COVID-19. Before that, we had September 11th, which wasn’t that dramatic in comparison.
  2. Airlines had to operate at an astonishing 5 percent of their capacity in a single summer.
  3. To say it will be competitive out there is an understatement.

How does the CEO of British Airways see the future of aviation in competition with other major airlines in Europe?

Read about aviation from the perspective of British Airways CEO Sean Doyle as he is interviewed by Peter Harbison, Chairman Emeritus of CAPA – Center for Aviation – or click the link and sit back and listen to.

Peter Harbison:

… Especially with regards to the cash position and the different approaches that governments in Europe have chosen, your two large full-service carriers in Europe have done a great deal to use a crude word that has largely been saved by their governments has been. And I know Willy Walsh previously said none of the airlines should be bailed out. British Airways received support, but more recently it has been particularly good. How does this affect your competitive position vis-à-vis the other two of the three most important in Europe?

Sean Doyle:

Well, I think the first thought I would say is that we at IAG were very quick to respond to self-help, and I think that has been focused on probably three or four different streams. I think the first is to increase liquidity in the commercial sector as much as possible, and we managed to do that. We had a rights issue, went to the bond markets, and then actually got some government facilities in the form of UKEF for British Airways worth two billion before Christmas, and Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus actually took similar paths. I think the availability of credit on commercial terms was one of the types of streams we wanted to enable and we took advantage of that. I think the second was realizing the gravity of the situation and changing your business pretty quickly, and I think that both British Airways and Aer Lingus and other airlines across the group have done so.

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