UK Israel Business Breakfast Discussion With Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Of International Airlines Group

Top Quote UK ISRAEL BUSINESS held the first event of its Industry, Transport and Logistics Forum on 8 April 2011 at the offices of Norton Rose with a Business Breakfast with Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) April 12, 2011 - On 8 April 2011, UK ISRAEL BUSINESS launched its Industry, Transport and Logistics Forum with a Breakfast Discussion with Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), at the rooftop offices of Norton Rose LLP. The event brought together around 100 senior businesspeople and decision makers from a range of sectors, including aviation, logistics, financial services, and manufacturing to hear Mr Walsh's thoughts on his industry and the current business climate.

    Guests arriving at the venue were greeted by glorious Spring sunshine. Mr Walsh was introduced by David Sinclair of Norton Rose and Daniel Seal, Chief Executive of UK ISRAEL BUSINESS, who both paid tribute to the achievements of the IAG boss.

    Mr Walsh proved to be an entertainment, interesting and insightful speaker. He spoke of his vision for IAG, the recently formed merger of British Airways and Iberia Airlines, to be a market leader for cost efficiency, stability, innovation and coverage. He noted that much that was inherited from the two airlines was "absolutely essential," and that the company's core brands were particularly strong, but nonetheless insisted that the group had to move with the times. This included drawing up more competitive staff remuneration packages and continuing to invest in clean tech initiatives, such as the plan to convert thousands of tonnes of waste material into jet fuel in the east of London.
    Mr Walsh went on to insist that the UK aviation industry is undervalued and overtaxed, playing a vital role in the development of the economy. And he equally firmly emphasised the "long-standing relationship with Israel" of both British Airways and Iberia, to which he said he was firmly committed.

    Happily answering questions from a clearly captivated audience, Mr Walsh spoke of the importance of cultural understanding, language and tone when initiating international joint ventures and mergers. He was even open about his opinion of Michael O'Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair - fulsome in his praise for the business acumen of his competitor, although unequivocal in his distaste for his methods.

    "It has been a great pleasure and highly enjoyable to have Willie Walsh with us this morning," said Daniel Seal, speaking after the event. "As someone who has worked his way up through the industry from the bottom, he is a truly inspirational business leader, and provides a great example for how to deal successfully with companies of different nationalities."

    Following three events in quick succession, UK ISRAEL BUSINESS is now focusing on its strategic partnership with the States of Jersey, which aims to promote Jersey to UK ISRAEL BUSINESS members in the UK and Israel and present Israeli firms expanding into Europe with Jersey as an alternative option for basing their operation. To this end, UK ISRAEL BUSINESS will be facilitating a business delegation to Israel in May, involving senior government representatives as well as key business leaders and decision makers.

    On the near horizon too is the second event of the Industry, Transport and Logistics forum, taking the form of a private round table with Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of Tate & Lyle.

    In the meantime, followers of UK ISRAEL BUSINESS can keep up to date with its activities via the organisation's regularly updated Twitter ( @ ) ukisr_business

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