Eurozone worries hit airline growth plans

IAG shelves acquisition of Portugal’s biggest airline TAP

IAG, parent company of British Airways and Iberia, says that it has been forced to cancel its short-term growth plans and acquisitions as the crisis in the eurozone becomes more precarious. The chief executive of the group, Willie Walsh, said that the company’s interest in buying Portugal’s biggest airline TAP had “significantly waned” because of the situation in Europe. This purchase would have boosted its long-haul operations to Brazil. “We aren’t looking at any acquisitions at the moment,” Walsh said.
One industry analyst explained: “TAP was IAG’s next takeover target, but it has been put off by its increased exposure to Spain though the merger with Iberia.”
Meanwhile, the latest figures from UK airport operator BAA show that passenger numbers between Heathrow and Greece were down 11.3% for May compared to May 2011, down 11.4% from Portugal and down 9.2% from Italy.
[image courtesy oneworld]


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