Willie Walsh, chief executive of the owner of British Airways, has condemned the Government's economic recovery plans, warning: "I don't see an agenda for growth in this country."
Days after the Chancellor set out his Autumn Statement, Mr Walsh, head of International Airlines Group, which owns BA and Iberia, said Britain was stuck "in an old world" cut off from emerging markets thanks to government cuts, aviation policy and visa restrictions.
Speaking on board BA's inaugural flight to Seoul, he said: "When I look at what I've done to restructure BA and other airlines, I've learnt you can't downsize a business to pursue growth - it hits long-term profitability. The thing to do is to address your cost base to make it more competitive, then pursue growth. But under this Government, I don't see that happening. I don't see an agenda for growth."
Mr Walsh said the UK's dithering over aviation policy meant the country is becoming cut off.
BA launched the Seoul route after buying Bmi this summer, and switching its slots to connect Heathrow to long-haul, emerging markets.
"BA secured the opportunity to grow at Heathrow by buying Bmi," Mr Walsh added.
"But airlines in other countries can't get into Heathrow, and the country is losing business as a result."
Despite the Chancellor announcing a £70m boost to the funding of UK Trade and Investment in the Autumn Statement last week to allow it to support more companies to export, Mr Walsh claimed Britain's trade priorities were wrong.
"The world has changed and is changing and we need to adapt to stay in contention but we're stuck in an old world, aiming our business focus on Europe," he said
Funding boost for trade and investment unveiled by the Chancellor in UK