A nice piece in..wait for it..The Independent of all places:
Willie Walsh: Hero
“Chief executive, British Airways
Willie Walsh has had a good year. Arguably the gods have not been on his side, what with volcanic ash in April and unmanageable snowfall in December. But Mr Walsh has won victories in his campaign to drag Britain’s once-public flagcarrier into the modern age. First, merger negotiations with Spain’s Iberia finally came together. Then BA’s not-quite-merger with American Airlines was cleared by regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, notwithstanding the opposition of rival Sir Richard Branson. Even Mr Walsh’s stand-off with the trade unions, facing down repeated strikes over terms and conditions for cabin staff, can be considered a success.
The spat is not over – Unite is re-balloting its 10,000 BA members and warning the row is “deepening”. But in reality the terms and conditions are already in force, BA kept most of its planes flying during the strikes, and the public appetite is waning for industrial action by people lucky enough to have jobs.”
A well deserved accolade, and great that he will be going out on a high, having set a strong foundation for the future success of the airline.