Davies Commission to lead nowhere, says Walsh

Davies Commission to lead nowhere, says Walsh

International Airlines Group boss Willie Walsh expects the Davies Commission on hub airport capacity to produce "a fantastic report" but lead to "nothing".

Walsh said yesterday he sees "no possibility" of any political party acting on the report.

The commission, led by Howard Davies, is due to produce an interim report on capacity expansion this year and recommendations on a long-term fix - most likely a choice between expanding Heathrow, building a new airport or creating a joint hub - after the 2015 general election.

IAG chief executive Walsh said yesterday: "I have met Howard Davies twice. I expect him to produce a fantastic report.

"It will be the best report we have ever had. But nothing will happen because it will be handed over to politicians."

Walsh said: "That is no criticism of Howard Davies. I just don't see any possibility of politicians of any party taking hold of the report and doing something with it."

He was speaking following the inaugural British Airways flight from Heathrow to Chengdu in southwest China. IAG is the parent company of BA and Spanish carrier Iberia.

Walsh was also critical of the Spanish government and its attitude to IAG's restructuring of Iberia. The loss of thousands of jobs led to strikes in February and March this year.

Walsh said: "I didn't envisage such vocal opposition from the Spanish government." He insisted: "Iberia had to be restructured."

Walsh added: "I've always said governments are not helpful to airlines. The best thing they could do is stand back and let us get on with what we have to do."

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