- We’ve never seen anything like this in aviation with the effects of COVID-19. Before this, we had 9/11, which was kind of not as dramatic in comparison.
- Over one single summer, airlines have had to operate at a staggering 5 percent of their capacity.
- To say it’s going to be competitive out there is an understatement.
What is the British Airways CEO view on the future of aviation when it comes to its competition with other major airlines in Europe?
Read about aviation from the perspective of British Airways CEO Sean Doyle as he is interviewed by the Peter Harbison, Chairman Emeritus of CAPA – Centre for Aviation – or click on the link and sit back and give it a listen.
… particularly at the cash position and the different approaches that governments in Europe have taken, both of your major full-service carriers in Europe have been very substantially, to use a crude word, bailed out by their governments to a large extent. And I know Willy Walsh previously said none of the airlines should be bailed out. There has been some support for British Airways but more recently particularly. How does that affect your competitive position with the other two of the major three in Europe?
Well, I think the first think I would say is that, at IAG, we were very quick to act on self-help, and I think that was focused on probably three to four different streams. I think the first is to go out and raise liquidity in the commercial sector as best that you can, and we’ve been successful in doing that. We had a rights issue, we went to the bond markets, and then we actually tapped into some government facilities in the form of UKEF for British Airways to the tune of two billion before Christmas, and Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus have actually pursued similar paths. So I think credit being available on commercial terms was one of the sort of streams that we were looking to be enabled, and we’ve tapped into that. I think the second thing was to recognize the gravity of the situation and to change your business pretty quickly, and I think both British Airways, Aer Lingus, and other airlines across the group did that.