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Travel industry news

26 Sep 2017

BY Edward Robertson


Willie Walsh: 'Ryanair's ability to fix things is unparalleled'

Willie Walsh has refused to criticise Ryanair over staffing issues that have seen it being forced to cancel around 50 flights a week in September and October.

Willie Walsh2.jpg

Willie Walsh speaks out over Ryanair flight cancellations

In an on-stage interview at World Routes 2017 in Barcelona, the IAG chief executive was asked his opinion on the situation, which saw some 2,100 flights cancelled, affecting aorund 315,000 customers.


However, he admitted that following British Airways’ own issues this year which saw its IT system crash in May, he was not about to start crowing over a rival’s problems, although he said he was keeping an eye on it.


“I don’t take any real pleasure out of it as we’ve had our own problems," Walsh said. "They’ll fix it, their ability to fix things is unparalleled. We’ll all learn from it.”


“It is one of those things that should never have happened but it did. Learning from things that go wrong is life, as long as you don’t keep repeating it.


Walsh is also confident that Brexit would not lead to a collapse in UK-EU flight services, as some have predicted.


“I don’t share this extreme view that flights will stop in March 2019; aviation has been the key success in Europe.


“Nobody wants to see the clock turned back to when flying was only for the extremely wealthy.”

Walsh also refused to get involved in the ongoing debate over the EU’s role in dealing with Middle Eastern carriers which have been accused of creating unfair competition thanks to state subsidies.


He said: “We compete more than anybody with the Gulf carriers. We will beat the competition through business, not through the law courts.


“It is a bit hypocritical of airlines around Europe to talk about state aid, we see [airlines] all around Europe with state aid."

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