Own­ers back un­der-fire boss

Daily Mail - - News -

THE boss of the com­pany that owns Bri­tish Air­ways fi­nally broke his si­lence last night to of­fer cus­tomers a ‘sin­cere apol­ogy’.

Wil­lie Walsh, chief ex­ec­u­tive of In­ter­na­tional Air­lines Group, ad­mit­ted the IT melt­down that grounded hun­dreds of flights had caused ‘rep­u­ta­tional dam­age’ to the once-proud brand.

But in­sist­ing that he fully un­der­stood the ‘huge frus­tra­tions’ felt by many trav­ellers, Mr Walsh stood solidly be­hind BA’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Alex Cruz, who has faced calls to quit. He said Mr Cruz could not be held re­spon­si­ble for a ‘cat­a­strophic elec­tri­cal failure’.

Mr Walsh, who built his per­sonal rep­u­ta­tion by be­ing highly vis­i­ble dur­ing past crises, told the Daily Mail: ‘I don’t get out there in my high-vis jacket any longer.’

He said it was an ‘op­er­a­tional is­sue’ so it was for BA and Mr Cruz to deal with.

He added: ‘Alex did all he could in very, very dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. It was not a prob­lem of his mak­ing. He has worked flat out to fix it. I sin­cerely apol­o­gise to all con­cerned.’

Pres­sure: Alex Cruz

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