Why British Airways doesn't want a bailout

Airlines in the U.S. are getting a 25 billion dollar government rescue package.

European carriers including Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic want something similar.

But British Airways-owner IAG hasn’t asked for a bailout.

Instead it’s betting on swingeing cost cuts.

Around a quarter of its 45,000 workers could face the chop.

That as the company predicts demand will take years to recover.

On Wednesday (April 29) the company said cabin crew numbers would fall 'significantly'.

The job cuts have sparked an angry response from unions.

But they should perhaps be no surprise under a boss nicknamed ‘slasher’.

Willie Walsh had been due to step down in March, but stayed on to steer IAG through the crisis.

He has a history of cutting costs in ways that rivals struggle to match.

Now he bets IAG can emerge from this crisis free from the government meddling that could affect competitors.

A strong balance sheet helps.

IAG has almost ten billion euros on hand - around twice Lufthansa’s liquidity.

One other European airline is sounding bullish though.

When lockdowns are lifted, Ryanair says there will be a vicious price war, which it expects to win.

But a leaner looking British Airways may still be in the fight.