Thursday 21 February 2019

'IAG won't get into bidding war for Norwegian Air' - Willie Walsh

IAG chief executive Willie Walsh (Niall Carson/PA)
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh (Niall Carson/PA)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

IAG won't get into q bidding war for Scandinavian airline Norwegian, chief executive Willie Walsh has insisted this evening in Dublin.

IAG, which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Level, acquired a 4.6pc stake in Norwegian last year and said it was interested in buying it outright.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by The Aviation Club UK, Mr Walsh said that he remains interested in Norwegian.

"I like Norwegian. I like the brand. I like what Bjorn (CEO Bjorn Kjos) had done," said Mr Walsh.

But he noted that Norwegian's share price has been declining and that there had been some rumour that another potential bidder could emerge.

"I'm not getting into a bidding war," said Mr Walsh, adding that he believed Norwegian's decision to populate its fleet with Boeing 787s was the wrong one.

Mr Walsh also said IAG "is not interested in third terminal at Dublin Airport".

Mr Walsh, a former Aer Lingus pilot and once the CEO of the airline, said BA should have done a deal to tie up with KLM years ago.

"Had KLM and BA got together it would have been a fantastic development," he said.

Mr Walsh said he's confident there will be a "comprehensive agreement" between the UK and the EU for post-Brexit aviation.

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