IAG expects Alitalia troubles to mean faster Vueling growth in Italy

Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

LONDON (Reuters) - IAG ICAG.L expects Alitalia's [CAITLA.UL] problems to help it grow its budget carrier Vueling in Italy, but the British Airways owner is not interested in a takeover of the struggling Italian flag carrier, IAG's chief executive said on Friday.

Alitalia filed to be put under special administration this week for the second time in less than a decade, starting a process that will lead to the loss-making Italian airline being overhauled, sold off or wound up.

“We clearly see some organic growth opportunities in Italy. We will look to see if there’s an opprtunity to speed up growth... focused on Vueling,” Willie Walsh told analysts after the group reported first quarter results, but added IAG had “no interest whatsoever” in Alitalia.

Rivals Lufthansa LHAG.DE and Norwegian NWC.OL have also shown little interest in Alitalia and creditors have refused to lend it any more money.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Alexander Smith