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IAG CEO: Vueling would still be based in Barcelona even if an independent Catalonia was not in the EU

Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG – the group formed by British Airways and Iberia, guaranteed that its subsidiary airline Vueling will continue having Barcelona El Prat Airport as its main base if Catalonia becomes an independent country and even if it is forced to abandon the European Union. “We will continue in Barcelona”, he emphasised on Tuesday in a meeting with press reporters from the Chinese city of Chengdu, according to an article published by Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia. Walsh was in China as British Airways was unveiling a new route linking this city with London.

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25 September 2013 08:19 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG – the group formed by British Airways and Iberia, guaranteed that its subsidiary airline Vueling will continue having Barcelona El Prat Airport as its main base if Catalonia becomes an independent country. He also added that even if Catalonia was forced to abandon the European Union, Vueling would still be based in the Catalan capital’s airport. “We will continue in Barcelona”, he emphasised on Tuesday from the Chinese city of Chengdu, according to an article published by Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia. Walsh was in China as British Airways was unveiling a new route linking this city with London. On top of this, the IAG CEO stated that Vueling will strengthen its presence in Barcelona and in its other main European bases, namely Paris, Amsterdam and Rome.


Furthermore, Walsh explained that Vueling’s future is not to work for British Airways, but to follow its own business model. The Catalan airline was bought by IAG last spring after a takeover offer, which was launched in November 2012. IAG decided to keep Alex Cruz as Vueling’s top Executive, naming him the company’s President, considering the Catalan airline’s significant growth and the positive results posted in the last few years. From China, Walsh stated that Vueling’s job is not to feed long-distance flights from other airlines, as Qatar Airways suggested. However, the IAG CEO emphasised that it will be Cruz’s decision to explore this possibility if it fits into Vueling’s business model and if it is “profitable” for the company.

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  • A Vueling aircraft in Barcelona El Prat Airport (by ACN)

  • A Vueling aircraft in Barcelona El Prat Airport (by ACN)