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IAG: mostly grounded
but shareholders mostly supportive — September 2020

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When Willie Walsh announced, at the beginning of January, that he intended to retire from his post as Chief Executive at International Consolidated Airlines Group, he must have thought that he would have been doing so at the peak of a long and successful career.

He had started as a cadet pilot at Aer Lingus aged 17, took over the reigns as CEO of the Irish flag carrier in 2001 and moved to take on the same role at British Airways in 2005. IAG, formed in 2011 from the merger of British Airways and Iberia, had grown under his leadership organically and by acquisition (of Vueling, Aer Lingus, British Midland and Monarch slots) to become the most profitable of the three top European legacy airline groups, albeit third behind Lufthansa and Air France-KLM in terms of total revenues.


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