Willie Walsh plots stable of strong brands under 'boring' umbrella group

Willie Walsh: chief executive of International Airlines Group
Willie Walsh: chief executive of International Airlines Group

Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), has spoken of his plans to create a stable of strong airline brands.

Walsh, who was speaking at the Marketing Society’s annual conference this morning (29 November), told delegates that IAG, formed from the merger of British Airways (BA) and Iberia earlier this year, was constructed with a deliberately "bland and boring name to help focus on the brands in our business".

Walsh recently moved to add another brand to the IAG stable, by agreeing to buy BMI from Lufthansa, subject to regulatory approval.

He confirmed that IAG was considering the future of the BMI brand, saying: "BMI has recognition in the UK and parts of the market, but it is not a brand with global reach. That said, it could be a brand that IAG looks to work with."

Walsh continued his criticism of the Government's policy towards the aviation industry, attacking the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax, as well as the decision not to build the third runway at Heathrow airport.

When asked if plans for a third runway could be revived, he answered:  "Personally, I think it’s dead – the political opportunity has passed us by. I think it’s a terrible mistake.

"We are effectively stuck because airports are not financed by taxpayers, they are all funded by the users of the airport. To build a new airport costs realistically £50bn. I'd love to think there is someone out there who is willing to invest the £50bn, but I don’t think there is."

He concluded: "It is hugely damaging to the British economy. We are making it difficult for people to come here and do business. We are allowing our global status as a country and economy to wither."

Follow Matthew Chapman on Twitter @mattchapmanuk

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers