Walsh turns down £700,000

BA Club Class 11-06  06.JPG

After a hellacious couple of months British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh was back to his old chirpy self today, despite voluntarily turning down a £700,000 bonus.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning , Walsh said that he “felt it wouldn’t be appropriate” to accept his chunky bonus in the wake of the catastophe that was the opening of London Heathrow’s Terminal 5.

But Walsh has good reason to be chirpy, despite missing out on what to most of us is a sum of money that can only be dreamed about. Under his leadership BA has hit its much sought-after 10% operating margin target.

The airline today unveiled full-year pre-tax profits of £883 million, a 45% year-on-year increase, on revenues that rose 3.1% to £8.8 billion. Not bad for an airline that has barely been out of the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Walsh also swept aside persistent press rumours that he is about to be given the boot, telling the Today programme that “I’ll be here for another 10 years”.

By my calculation, this would put him just beyond the age of his planned retirement, which he told me about during Airline Business’ March cover interview. You can never quite believe everything you’re told!

As for the admirably relinquished £700,000 bonus, if BA is at a loose end with what to do with it and wants to both score some much-needed good PR and help some people in true and desperate need, may I suggest a donation to help the victims of the recent natural disasters in Burma and China? Just a thought.  

, , , , , ,

One Response to Walsh turns down £700,000

  1. AJA 22 May, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Of course Mr Walsh hasa turned down the 700,000 bonus as he need the cash to rebrand the fleet British Airways London. In his time at BA he has done more to turn it into a regional airline based on London than any of his predesscors. How long will he want to run flights from heathrow to the UK regions? Think of the slots he would save. If you are going to retain the name British Airways you should the UK, BA to day does not, same on you Mr. Walsh and why did you not try out Open Skies from somewhere like Manchester first or are we tohave another fiasco when they finally start operations. I often wonder how many of the BA senior mangement ever visit the UK regions? probably can’t afford the injections!!!! The most telling remark I have had on the subject was when I complained to a BA Manchester manager why they were not advertising selected services and he responded London will not let us advertise!!!

Leave a Reply