Willie Walsh’s bonus cut after Iberia troubles

WILLIE Walsh picked up a £1.155m pay package for last year but missed out on £1.35m of bonus payments after International Airlines Group (IAG) failed to hit some performance targets.

The group chief executive received a base salary of £825,000 and a £302,000 bonus, according to the annual report of the owner of British Airways and Iberia, which was published yesterday. He missed out on the rest, however, after IAG did not meet “stretching” targets including measures on profits.

Keith Williams and Rafael Sánchez-Lozano Turmo, the individual heads of BA and Iberia, received packages of €1.12m and €870,000 respectively, including bonuses of €218,000 and €79,000 respectively,

The group reported pre-tax profits of £425.6m in the year to December 2011. When the results were revealed in February, Walsh said: “BA is making money and Iberia is losing money. The Spanish economy is weak and operating costs at Iberia are too high, unacceptably so, but this is being tackled.”

Yesterday IAG’s annual report also showed that Walsh and Sánchez-Lozano Turmo asked for their basic salaries for 2012 to be frozen at 2011 levels.

It came as IAG posted a strong rise in March traffic, boosted by continued growth in first and business class travel and a buoyant transatlantic market.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 6.2 per cent versus March 2011, while passenger load factor – a measure of how well it fills its planes – was up one percentage point at 73.7 per cent, it said yesterday.

Its Spanish operations face the threat of up to 30 days of strikes between April and July, however.

• Low cost airline Ryanair said yesterday its passenger traffic during March fell four per cent, as its decision to ground planes to save on fuel costs continued to dent its growth. Ryanair said it carried 5.7m passengers during March, with 79 per cent of its available seats taken – down one percentage point on a year ago.