BA’s Burns, George resign over controvesy

Martin George, Commercial Director, has today resigned his position with the airline. He has been on leave of absence since June 2006 when the Office of Fair Trading and the US Department of Justice began an investigation focused on long-haul passenger fuel surcharges. 

Iain Burns, British Airways’ Head of Communications, has also resigned with immediate effect.

In a letter to Martin Broughton, Chairman of British Airways, Martin George said:
“It is with regret that I notify you of my decision to step down as Commercial Director of British Airways with effect from the above date.  This decision applies both to my position as an employee of British Airways Plc and as a director on the main and subsidiary company boards of the British Airways group.

“I now recognise that within my department, there may have been inappropriate conversations in violation of Company policy in relation to long haul fuel surcharges.  I was not involved in such conversations.  Although the Board of BA have not found that I have behaved in a dishonest way, I fully recognise my responsibilities as Head of Department and as a Board Director.

“As you know, becoming a Board Member of British Airways has been the highlight of my career so far.  I remain committed to doing what I can in the interests of the airline, to which I have dedicated my last 19 working years.  I have always taken my responsibilities as a Director and Board Member very seriously and I therefore depart with deep regret, whilst believing that departing is, in these circumstances and for these reasons, nevertheless, the right course.”


Robert Boyle, British Airways’ Director of Planning, has been appointed Commercial Director with immediate effect.
Thomas Coops, former Communications Director at Abbey National has been appointed interim Head of Corporate and Media Relations.  He will be responsible for providing communications advice to the Company and managing Media Relations. He replaces Iain Burns.