“BA’s results may, on the face of it, seem like bad news, but they show that the airline is beginning to turn the corner by cutting the size of the loss. However full year results are still going to be grim and are unsurprising after what has been a difficult period. The company may be having a torrid time with eye watering financial losses, staff disputes and a weak world economy, but ultimately it’s the airline’s customers that are suffering and losing their loyalty is the biggest current threat to the airline.
“BA needs to cut costs and this has put it into dispute with its staff and union, Unite. With Unite balloting members again now on industrial action, there is continued uncertainty for BA’s passengers, and those who suffered over the Christmas period will want to avoid a repeat of that experience at all costs should a strike be called later this month. Despite an excellent overall product offering, consumers are increasingly reluctant to book flights with BA in case of cancellations or poor on board service from unhappy staff.
“BA needs to resolve this damaging dispute behind closed doors and allow customers to plan, book and travel in confidence once again with this iconic airline. If not, the world of choice available to the travelling public will lead passengers away to rivals permanently – since the most recent strike ballot was announced we’ve seen a 12 per cent reduction in passengers choosing BA on travelsupermarket.com, as customers desert them for competitor airlines.
”And with pension problems, a proposed merger with Iberia in progress, waiting for a decision on the transatlantic deal with American Airlines and Iberia and the highly publicised issues at JAL, it’s partner in oneworld, BA has a long way to go before it can see a secure future for itself and its passengers.”