BA CHIEF BRANDS CAMERON AND OSBORNE WITH HAVING NO ECONOMIC VISION – British Airways chief Willie Walsh is a fairly outspoken chap; known not to mince his words regardless of whom he is addressing.
Yesterday Mr. Walsh leveled a scathing attack on both David Cameron and George Osborne saying that both lacked any realistic economic vision and have a tendency to focus on whatever is ‘topical’ instead of tackling the greater issues facing Britain.
The comments from Mr. Walsh comes over continued delays over the decision on the future of Heathrow Airport and in particular disbanding an image that the lucrative Chinese tourism market isn’t welcome in Britain – with 1.4 billion people China has the biggest potential tourism market in the world.
At the opening of British Airway’s new Chengdu route in south central China Mr. Walsh made the following statement:
“I am not a fan of Cameron or Osborne and I have no political affiliation.
I haven’t seen much evidence of visionary leadership there and to me they respond to whatever is topical rather than setting out a long term plan or vision for growth in the UK economy.”
Mr. Walsh went on to say that there is more optimism in the economy but warned that Britain still has a long way to go and that current austerity measure would not be able to be relaxed.
Mr. Walsh accused George Osborne of ‘Champagne Cork Popping’ over recent achievements, resulting in the economy beginning to rebound and yet Britain is far from out of the woods.
Mr. Walsh is also highly critical over the handling of the expansion plans for Heathrow. The Government has asked Sir Howard Davies to spearhead the Airport Commission in order to examine capacity in the UK; however Mr. Walsh thinks that such a report would be a waste of public money and a futile exercise.
The problem Mr. Walsh has is that he feels that Sir Howard will no doubt produced a first-rate report but such a document will simply land on a Government Ministers desk and be ignored; he feels this is the current ineptitude of Government Ministers and that it’s unlikely any substantive action will be taken to improve airport capacities.
Mr. Walsh also believes that the Government should re-examine and change its approach to issuing visas for Chinese nationals due to the potential marketing size of Chinese related tourism.
Mr. Walsh has stated that Britain needs a visa regime that is far less bureaucratic and in the process makes the Chinese feel welcomed into Britain.
It is, according to Mr. Walsh, vital that airports are expanded or Britain will face a future where other European airports will become the hub of European travel; leaving Britain out in the cold. He also feels that the decision not to build a third runway at Heathrow is nothing short of tragic and that this is a prime example of how British politicians fail the British people and their prosperity.