IAG ‘not picking on British Airways’, chief executive says

British Airways’ parent company has insisted it is not “picking on” the airline after announcing it will shed up to 12,000 jobs.

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh told MPs that restructuring will be carried out across the group, which owns other carriers such as Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling.

It announced last month that up to 12,000 British Airways workers will be made redundant, which is equivalent to more than a quarter of the workforce.

Giving evidence to the Commons’ Transport Select Committee, Mr Walsh insisted the timing of the announcement about the reduction in staffing at British Airways was due to the UK’s labour laws.

He said: “The labour legislation in Ireland and Spain – the two other major countries in which we operate – it’s different. We’re required to do it in a different way.

“We are embarking on a restructuring and I’ve made it clear that this is group-wide restructuring. It’s not specific to British Airways.

“It’s group-wide restructuring in the face of the greatest crisis that the airline industry and the airlines within IAG have faced.”

He added: “We are not picking on British Airways.

“We’re not doing anything that we don’t think is absolutely necessary to secure the survival of British Airways and we’re doing exactly the same with the other airlines in the group.”