Whatever easyJet’s CEO Carolyn McCall has been telling the Daily Telegraph, it is highly improbable that the airline is going to move its Gatwick operation to Heathrow. Much more likely is its consolidation of its Gatwick services all under one roof at the North Terminal. The airline already operates 45% of flights out of the airport, but they are currrently split between the North and South terminals. A move to the North Terminal would require British Airways to shimmy over to the South Terminal to be next to LGW rivals Virgin Atlantic.
Now that the BA/Iberia merger is going ahead, it looks as if Iberia are in for an interesting time with Willie Walsh as Group CEO.
I have a feeling that Mr Walsh does not like arriving at companies that are in a state of anything less than crisis – if there are no crises visible, he is sure to find some. Even if the situation is already bad, Willie will discover that it is even worse than imagined. Some less friendly souls would say he is a bit of a drama queen.
Unfortunately, he won’t have to look too far to find trouble in Iberia.
The company has never got over being state-owned. Whilst there have been improvements, there are too many pilots, cabin crew and ground staff who fail to respond to management requirements. Their safety record should be better than it is and their position in world rankings of airlines for customer service is dire.
This time, Willie doesn’t have to worry – Iberia really is in a worse state than most people imagine.
With British Airways, Willie has made vague threats that if pilots or cabin crew do not like his terms, they can leave – en masse if necessary. If this were to happen at British Airways it would be a cause for real concern – if it happened at Iberia, it could well be the best thing for the airline. The airline needs a new start and getting rid of some entrenched pilots and cabin crew would be the best way to begin.