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British Airways chief's warning over stalled runway plan


Expansion: Willie Walsh

Expansion: Willie Walsh


Expansion: Willie Walsh

The boss of British Airways has warned he could seek to expand the airline overseas if the Government "twiddles its thumbs" over a third runway at Heathrow.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA's parent company IAG, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, said the firm could focus on growing its business from Spain or Ireland rather than London.

His comments come after the Government announced a final decision on whether to build a new runway at Heathrow Airport has been put off until at least next summer.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mr Walsh said: "We're a small island, and this Government looks set to make us even smaller on the world stage. Our leaders bestride the world saying the UK is open for business, but their actions do not match the rhetoric.

"If the Government continues to dither over a new runway, then I'll move my business elsewhere.

"We now have airlines in Dublin and Madrid, and can expand our business there, supporting the strengthening Irish and Spanish economies."