London, Wednesday, March 26, 2003: British Airways today announced a package of measures in response to the impact on its business of the conflict in Iraq.
Following the actual and anticipated downturn in passenger traffic, the airline will implement a reduced flying programme and an acceleration of its Future Size and Shape restructuring programme.
The measures include:
á An overall capacity reduction of four per cent in April and May, involving reduced frequencies and the use of smaller aircraft.
á The Future Size and Shape programme’s overall manpower reduction target of 13,000 by March 2004 will be accelerated to September this year.
á An extension of the company’s unpaid leave scheme for staff.
á A review of all capital expenditure and external spend.
Chief executive Rod Eddington said today: “There are clearly tough times ahead and experience has shown us that conserving cash is critical at these times.
“We have had the opportunity to plan our response on this occasion and go into this downturn a leaner, fitter company. Before today’s adjustments to our flying programme, we had already reduced our capacity by 20 per cent in the last two years and reduced our manpower by 10,000.
“We are still assessing the impact on passenger demand but the industry has been feeling the effects of war for some weeks now. However, we are in good shape with more than £2 billion in cash and committed facilities available and we will survive this conflict.
“We will continue to review our capacity and forward bookings on a regular basis.”