IAG CEO Willie Walsh accuses Heathrow of “ripping off” passengers with new runway plans
IAG Chief Executive Officer Willie WalshReuters

International Consolidated Airlines Group, Europe's second-largest airline operator and the owner of British Airways, has no plans to cut jobs or move corporate assets away from the UK following Brexit, according to chief executive officer Willie Walsh.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV on Tuesday (28 June), Walsh also said that following the Brexit influenced market volatility, an uptick in tourism triggered by a weaker pound should partially mitigate softer demand for business travel to the UK.

"The UK now becomes more attractive for tourists. Corporates were pausing on the uncertainty, and now we don't expect them to bounce back as we would have expected had the vote been 'Remain.' In the long run, such demand effects tend to even out," Walsh said.

The IAG boss said the referendum campaign was "a little bit toxic" and damaging to the UK's reputation, but he added that: "We've got to respect the decision and move on."

Walsh, who had backed the 'Remain' camp, said Brexit would invariably mean that "a vision of the UK trading without boundaries will now be difficult to deliver."

As for the vote's impact on IAG itself, Walsh said: "Because we buy fuel in dollars, our fuel bill will rise on the higher oil price and the weaker pound. We could be $2bn (£1.5bn, €1.8bn) short, but these currency effects are very technical, mechanical."

The company still expects operating profit to show "significant" growth this year, he concluded.