The owner of British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia, the International Airlines Group (IAG), may slow its fleet expansion as global economic growth cools and the effects of Britain’s ‘Brexit’ decision to exit the European Union hits home.
IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh said all airlines, including those within IAG, were reassessing their requirements for new aircraft.
Others, both in airlines and in the broader economy, are more upbeat. Sir James Dyson, Britain’s celebrated billionaire inventor and engineer, has said Brexit will liberate the British economy and there is no reason for uncertainty. Dyson told the Guardian Britain could now reach trade agreements with countries outside Europe “much more easily and flexibly”.
Walsh conceded in a Bloomberg Television interview in London that he doubted the airline industry would see growth rates that had been anticipated.
Airbus and Boeing scored fewer aircraft orders at the aviation industry’s annual showcase this summer than over the past six years.
More than two months after Britain’s historic vote to exit the EU, airlines generally think the effects on traffic will be manageable. The negative effects of a Brexit vote, forecast by some pundits, have failed so far to materialise.
Holiday bookings dropped as the pound fell, but corporate travel demand is expected to return and inbound travel to Britain is set to boom – largely because of the weak pound.
Written by William Sykes