Willie Walsh, International Airlines Group

Willie Walsh

More Buying Power

The merger greatly increases the British Airways/Iberia negotiating clout as they seek replacement long-haul aircraft.

Between them they have around 160 widebodies, but commonality is non-existent – Iberia operates Airbus A340s while BA flies a mix of Boeing 747s, 767s and 777s. This is in contrast to their narrowbody fleets, which both centre on the Airbus A320.

The airlines have been evaluating renewal options for their long-haul fleets. Willie Walsh says that this is now being co-ordinated through IAG. “We’ve become much more relevant through the merger,” he says.

The replacement of Iberia’s older A340s is a priority, says Walsh, as this can be achieved using more efficient types already available. “There are discussions going on with Airbus and Boeing. We can have a transitional fleet while we wait for new generation aircraft like the A350 or 787,” he says.

In Pictures: British Airways