by Jason Moore

A placard being waved by a striking Iberia worker has caused some concern among some British residents. The placard stated “British Go Home” and the photograph was published by many newspapers the Bulletin included. Those residents who were concerned can rest at ease; in this case “the British” was infact British Airways whose merger with Iberia is not too popular in Spain, especially after thousands of job cuts were announced. I don´t envy Willie Walsh, the Chief Executive of the combined British Airways/Iberia group. He faces a nightmare challenge; trying to turn around two former state airlines against a backdrop of a deep recession. There have been some calls in Spain for the merger to be scrapped with British Airways being accused by some in the right- wing Spanish press of trying to destroy the Spanish airline. I think what Walsh is trying to do is turn the new company that he heads into a profitable organisation. But naturally that has placed him on a collision course with both the Spanish and British trade unions. Job cuts are never popular but he has little option. The world of aviation is changing. I would propose to Mr. Walsh that British Airways and Iberia return to what they were once famous for; quality service. The non-frills airlines have their place but so do airlines that offer service and perhaps even a courtesy drink! Bring back inflight meals would be another good idea. Certainly food for thought.