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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Why does this man work for BA?

Walsh hints at Indian investment after BA-Iberia merger

News just in:
A newly merged British Airways and Iberia would be very interested in investing in an Indian airline, BA chief Willie Walsh said on Saturday as he announced a groundbreaking code-share deal with India's Kingfisher Airlines.

Without question this is a market for the future, said Mr Walsh, who is set to head the new International Airlines Group company to be formed under the Iberia merger due to be finalised by the end of this year. The ambition of IAG is to pursue further opportunities for consolidation and I can certainly let you speculate that IAG would be very interested in participating in the Indian market, he told reporters in Mumbai on his second trip to the city in a month.

Now Kingfisher Airlines may be a great business, but it is mostly a domestic Indian airline with a few international routes with all but 5 of its current fleet of 66 aircraft operating on domestic routes in India. It may be a growth area but consider the network that BA operates in the UK, by trying the quiz we posted last year:

1 Name all the cities that BA flies to from
a) Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester?
b) Belfast, Bimingham, Southampton, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford?
c) Newquay, Guernsey, Exeter, Isle of Man?

2 How many flights a day does BA operate to Ireland?

3 From how many airports does BA operate to/from in:
a) London?
b) Rest of England?
c) Scotland?
d) Wales?
e) Northern Ireland?

1 a. London, b. Nowhere, c. Nowhere
2 None
3 a. 3, b. 2, c. 3, d. 0, e. 0

So if BA operates such a poor domestic network in the UK (where they have lots of international routes and prime slots), why should they be interested in a foreign domestic network where they have to compete with incumbents?

Or if Walsh thinks the Indian market is such good business, why is he wasting his time at BA?

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