IAG boss Willie Walsh was annoyed to learn that the new aviation minister had declared to the leaders of the aviation industry that the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, was in Hong Kong launching British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo service. Mr. Walsh pointed out that not only was McLoughlin not on board the plane, he had not been not invited, and was not going to be allowed to take the credit.
A a conference on Tuesday Mr. Walsh stated: “The government has not done anything to launch our new services to China.”
In fact, he said, its policies on air passenger duty and Chinese visas were harming British aviation and business.
“It’s not happening. I’m not going to sit here and let the government take credit for something we are doing on our own without their support.”
This was in response to Mr. Goodwill announcing at the opening the Airport Operators Association conference in London which is the air industry’s major annual event that – “The secretary of state, Patrick McLoughlin, cannot be with us here today because he’s in China, promoting our interests.” “He will shortly be launching British Airways new A380 service from Hong Kong – and is coming back to the UK on that maiden flight.”