Hit or miss? BA boss Willie Walsh takes to the skies during crisis

Test flight Amid mounting concern from airlines over the shutdown of Europe's airspace, BA chief executive Willie Walsh joined a four-strong BA crew for a test flight over Ireland.

The aircraft took off from Heathrow on 18 April, headed off over the Atlantic and landed later in Cardiff. Walsh told media: 'The analysis we have done so far ... provides fresh evidence that the current blanket restrictions on airspace are unnecessary.'


Paul Charles, Chief operating officer, Lewis PR (former comms boss at Virgin Atlantic)

When there are no other planes in the sky, you can easily bring your plane into land, but you would not be able to do that if there were loads of planes in the sky.

It's a credit to BA that it has been using Twitter and other media to communicate with people through the crisis, because some haven't. But this stunt does nothing to improve the situation for passengers.

It doesn't help to persuade people that it's safe to fly through a volcanic ash cloud and it was a very cynical attempt to try to persuade regulators that volcanic ash clouds are safe.

It's easy to see that BA's attempt has failed - just look at the continuing closure of British airspace. If it was safe, then it would now be open. It did nothing to persuade the public concerned about flying through volcanic ash.


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