More than 36,000 employees world-wide have flooded British Airways with applications for what is believed to be the biggest ever global employee share save scheme.
The invitation attracted 33,000 UK-based employees and 3,200 employees overseas to save towards shares in the airline. They will be able to buy shares in 2001 at an option price of £4.18, set in January which included a special 20 per cent discount on the market rate.
The scheme was launched in 81 countries, making it the most widely available ever offered by a business anywhere in the world. It is the first time all 60,000 of the airline’s workforce have been invited to take part, with the two previous schemes restricted to the airline’s workforce in the UK.
Bob Ayling, the airline’s Chief Executive, said: “We believe firmly in involving our people in the business. Already 60 per cent of our customers are from overseas and this is set to rise to 80 per cent by the Millennium. Our employees make a huge contribution to our world-wide success and I am delighted so many of them will be investing in our future.”
The scheme proved most popular with employees based in the UK with 70 per cent sending back their application forms. Overseas, just over 25 per cent completed applications from 65 countries, with the USA, India, Germany, Canada, Nigeria, France, South Africa, Egypt, Malaysia and Japan claiming the top ten overseas slots.
British Airways hopes to offer employees the chance to sign up for the save-as-you-earn scheme every two years for the next decade.