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British Airways

Is Alex Cruz on the Outs at British Airways?

Is Alex Cruz on the Outs at British Airways?
Joe Cortez

Days after British Airways celebrated their 100th anniversary, rumors are swirling suggesting that current airline chief executive could be out of a job. Citing internal sources and public gaffes including a botched cancellations e-mail, FlyerTalkers are predicting the removal of the airline leader, who was only appointed in 2016.

Could Alex Cruz be forced out of the top position at British Airways? Flyers purportedly close to the subject suggest that the executive could be looking for a new job just days after the flag carrier celebrated their 100th anniversary. In a FlyerTalk thread, international travelers are discussing allegations of the potential exit.

The thread, started by FlyerTalker andymcdonnell, suggests inside knowledge that Cruz could be fired as soon as August 27, 2019. The claims are corroborated by those who have access to the British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA) forum, claiming that a similar active discussion is taking place on their website.

Alex Cruz was appointed chairman and CEO of British Airways in 2006. Prior to that, he was the chief executive of low-cost carrier Vueling prior to the airline being purchased by International Airline Group. His business credits include starting an aviation consulting firm and working at Accenture as the head of aviation.

Although Mr. Cruz seemed to be groomed for the job, his tenure at British Airways is marred with several gaffes, most notably IT outages. The most recent computer issues include a 2018 data breach affecting 380,000 customers, followed misinforming passengers of cancelled flights in 2019.

Flyers were quick to grow frustrated with Cruz, at one point asking if he should resign. In a 2017 non-scientific poll conducted by FlyerTalkers, over 93 percent of those responding suggested Cruz should be forced to leave his position or be replaced by another executive.

The year 2019 is not any better for Mr. Cruz, who is now facing a public backlash from internal employees. In a survey by an airline crew blog, just over half of employees are “proud” to work for British Airways. And in August, BALPA announced three strike days in September, claiming there is “no prospect of any further meaningful talks.” The union claims one day of strikes would cost British Airways around $49 million (£40 million).

If Cruz were to be ousted, he wouldn’t leave an entirely negative legacy behind. During his watch, the airline received and launched their first A350-1000 flights, while introducing the highly praised Club World “Suite” business class seat.

As of press time, British Airways has not commented on the fate of their lead executive, and Mr. Cruz’s biography remains on the airline website.

 

Have thoughts? Head to the forum thread Is Cruz Gone? to share them.

British Airways

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