Airline plans for 16-nation eurozone

Aug. 3, 2012 at 11:51 AM
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MADRID, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The parent company of Spain's national airline Iberia said it was reviewing the firm's business plan given the possibility that Spain could exit the eurozone.

The company, International Consolidated Airlines Group or IAG, which owns Iberia, the domestic discount carrier Iberia Express and British Airways, said it was conducting "a re-evaluation of all aspects of the business."

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that IAG was putting together a "Spain euro exit road map project," in order to be prepared if Spain leaves the 17-nation single currency region.

Currently, "There remains a stark difference in the performance of our subsidiaries," said Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh.

"All parts of the Iberian network are unprofitable. The nature of business from the South Atlantic to Latin America is changing and we need to restructure to take account of this as our competitors are," he said.

On the other hand, "British Airways made an operating profit despite rising fuel prices," he added.

Still, it is rare that a major company has admitted it is preparing for a market shocker as sensitive as a breakdown of the eurozone.

Executives meet every two weeks to work on the firm's contingency plan. In the meantime, the firm has drastically reduced its exposure to Spanish, Greek, Irish and Portuguese banks, the newspaper said.

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