Deathwatch? Huge losses + strike threat = grim times for British Airways

6 November 2009

deathwatch Things are going from bad to worse for beleaguered premium sky-flyists British Airways. Formerly the pride of the heavens, they are quickly becoming a byword for failure and mismanagement and have just announced a £292 million loss before tax for the first half of the year. In the same period last year, they made a £52 million profit.

Bitterwallet - British AirwaysThe timing of the announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time as relations between BA management and staff are at an all time low. Yesterday, the Unite union launched High Court action to try and prevent BA from bringing in new contracts for cabin crew and a forthcoming court case will decide the legality of the move.

The threat of Christmas strikes still hangs over BA as well, with the result of a strike ballot of cabin staff due to be announced on December 14th

None of that’s good news at all is it? God, hope it’s not going to be one of THOSE days…

TOPICS:   Travel   Economy

16 comments

  • Gunn
    Time for new management before BA goes down the pan totally, or would the government bail it out, does Gordon Brown fly BA?
  • Got W.
    Nah, Gordon Clown flies Virgin - presumably wanting to get used to not flying BA in readiness for when he's on the dole on 7th May 2010 (or earlier). Let the cabin crews go on strike - there are lots of other people out there to take their jobs with the new contract terms and conditions. ....like lots of people in Spain, where BA will be moving the head office to next year!
  • Got W.
    Not sure about the editorial quality of the first couple of parapgraphs of your story Andy. BA aren't doing any worse than any other major intercontinental airline in the recession, as far as I can see. Some of the foreign carriers are doing better, but BA's troubles are partly caused by Gordon Clown and Alistair Darlek, who have damaged the UK economy and hecne the value of the ££££ out of all recognition.
  • The B.
    Hmmm, I'd say that the unions have such a strong hold on BA that any opportunity they've had to streamline has left them scuppered, has anyone got the figures for no of passengers per staff member, weren't there like 8 times the volume on Easyjet? Double I could understand but 8x means that BA is well overstaffed.
  • [email protected]
    @ Got the Willies As the £ is now undervalued it should make exports more competitive including the cost of flights. This should work in BA's favour on international routes when competing against US & European carriers. BA is doing crap because it's staff costs are way over the industry average and the management are morons. What they need to do is change their name to 'The Bank of British Airways' then Darling will write them a blank cheque.....
  • Got W.
    @ [email protected] Unfortuantely, British airlines suffer from having a major cost element being transacted in US Dollars. ie aviation fuel. High oil price + Weak pound = disaster Perhaps we should have joined the Euro at the right rate, when we had a chance.... (ie 1Euro = 68p or similar), rather than near parity.
  • David
    I make a preference not to travel BA at all. Business travellers choosing to fly via Amsterdam or Paris rather than Heathrow with BA. Their service is terrible. The staff behave as though they are doing you a favour by letting you fly with them. I hope thy go bust and someone else takes over their serices. The only British thing I am less proud of than BA is the BNP.
  • me
    @ Got the Willies - now my economics are a little rusty, but in order to join the Euro would we not have had to of had a near 1 to 1 exchange rate anyway (plus equal inflation amounts etc etc)?
  • pikey w.
    They may have made an operating loss but BA have plenty of cash in the bank, all ready to plough straight into management pockets in bonuses for screwing the rest of the workforce. Go to their head office, lined with coffee shops, subsidized gym, hairdressers, waitrose, etc and you'll see where the money goes. Lots of highly paid managers sitting around drinking coffee wondering what they're getting paid for and wondering where their free first class tickets will take them. They will not go under, it is all creative accounting and spin to vilify the cabin crew and ground staff at the centre of the disputes. The wisest thing they can do is get rid of Willie and his useless team of yes men. He should've gone after the T5 fiasco.
  • Brians U.
    Fuck this, is Bitter wallet turning into another one of those websites where everybody is a professional Economist, i dont want to read comments about boring shit like that, i want to hear about women cabin crews gettin caught performing sexual acts on a plane or something like that. CUNTS!
  • Financial S.
    Every time I fly over to the UK, I fly Virgin Airways. Brians Uncle, you should switch carriers if you want more fun! Financial Samurai
  • Rembrandt
    BA stocks up 11 pence today. Probably an immediate reply to BitterWallet putting them on DeathWatch. I wonder how many fans you poor, poor cabin crew will have when people are abandoned around the world for Xmas due to your selfish, pathetic and baseless attitude.
  • Neil
    Well if Ryanair is the alternative I'm not sure I want BA to go bust just yet :) Some things I will gladly pay more for (like making sure that the maintenance on the planes is done properly!)
  • James
    My business is finding times tough at the moment. There is the possibility of job cuts and maybe some salary reductions. What would be great is if a union could become involved and encourage all my workers to go on strike. This would be helpful firstly so that any potential customers would steer well clear at the possibility of this strike and secondly during the strike the company would make no money at all making it even harder to retain staff and salary levels. Then to package it up nicely, all the workers could come out and blame the fat cat management who are normally the first to accept salary reductions. Tell you what though, if the unions could start running the businesses I would be the first in the queue for a job. rant over
  • MrRobin
    @ Neil - If you want to make sure you're flying on the most reliable planes, choose a carrier with the youngest fleet... e.g. Ryanair.
  • Rembrandt
    @MrRobin Young and reliable are not necessarily the same thing..

What do you think?

Connect with Facebook, Twitter, or just enter your email to sign in and comment.

Your comment