Scotish Independence

Scottish independence could be a “positive development” for British Airways, according to Willie Walsh, who on the BBC Breakfast show said the Scottish government recognised the “huge impact” air passenger duty had on the economy.

Mr. Walsh was asked whether the airline was making contingency plans for independence, and he said “No, because we’ll continue to fly to Scotland.

Willie Walsh pokes fun at Ryanair

Willie Walsh

“If anything, it might be marginally positive because I suspect the Scottish government will abolish air passenger duty, because they recognise the huge impact that that tax has on their economy. So no, it’s probably going to be a positive development, if it does happen, for British Airways.”

The Scottish government has pledged to reduce, then possibly abolish, the duty after a “Yes” vote in the referendum.

BA employs about 1,300 staff in Scotland, including aircraft engineers and cabin crew.

Willie Walsh has been critical of the UK government, saying that its policies have discouraged tourism and foreign investment, and there was a rather embarrassing attempt by the Patrick McLoughlinto muscle in on the A380 launch to Hong Kong which was soundly slapped down in October last year.