Business Diary: Walsh speaks the lingo with his new friends

It's good to see our captains of industry working on their language skills in this globalised age. Asked at a party about the progress of talks with Iberia, British Airways boss Willie Walsh answered that he was getting on well with his Spanish colleagues. When will a final deal be announced? "Mañana," Walsh replied. The perfect use of the word, given the age the negotiations have been dragging on for already.

O'Leary tries to joke his way out of trouble

Looks like Michael O'Leary has dropped a clanger. Ryanair ran a series of adverts portraying Stelios Haji-Ioannou as Pinocchio, suggesting that he and his airline, Easyjet, misled people over punctuality statistics. Now Stelios's lawyer, Schillings, is threatening legal action. O'Leary has challenged Stelios to a race around Trafalgar Square in an attempt to bury the hatchet with humour. One suspects Schillings will advise its client to turn down the kind offer and go on seeking damages and an apology.

Big air at last for Witan Investment Trust

Witan Investment Trust gets its day in the sun (or snow) at last. The investment company signed up to sponsor British skier Chemmy Alcott a couple of years ago – now she's going to put their name up in lights at the Winter Olympics.

MPs are still costing us an arm and a leg

GlobalExpense is in touch, raising its eyebrows at the £6.6m being set aside by the Government to pay for 85 staff to regulate MPs' expenses. The private sector operator reckons the cost is ridiculous. "For that kind of money, GlobalExpense and other providers could manage the entire MPs' expenses process for more than 100 years," it claims.

The big breakfast for Lord Myners

Spotted: City minister Lord Myners, enjoying breakfast at the Wolseley restaurant in London's Piccadilly, where he is something of a regular. At £13.75 for a full English, the Wolseley is a little more pricey than even the finest Westminster greasy spoon, but this is the most important meal of the day, after all.

Number of the day: 2,500

The number of job cuts announced by BAE Systems in the past year, including 230 yesterday

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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