British Airways expects to be one of the first British companies doing business in the new Euro.
From Friday (January 1, 1999) customers travelling on any of the airline`s flights from European states adopting the new currency will have the choice of paying their fares in either local currency or in Euros. This applies to all the airline`s services from the Eurozone - the 11 countries initially introducing the new European single currency.
With the start of the new year, the airline`s 40,000 front line staff will be dealing in Euros for ticket sales, fare quotations and in-flight sales. A number of passengers flying from airports across the Eurozone are expected to pay for their tickets in Euros early on New Year`s Day.
British Airways has spent the past two years ensuring that all its systems and employees are fully prepared to meet the Euro needs of the airline`s customers - 45 per cent of whom travel to and from Continental Europe, representing 30 per cent of the company`s turnover.
Bob Ayling, British Airways Chief Executive, said: “Our passengers, especially business travellers, are likely to be among the first to start using the new currency. British Airways` aim is to offer them the best choice at all times and to contribute to a smooth introduction of the new European single currency in the countries adopting it.”
The airline has written to its suppliers in the Eurozone explaining that it is ready to make payment in Euro from Friday and suggesting that they agree on a date for cutover.