Make British Airways Great Again!

Old Sep 5, 20, 1:30 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: UK
Posts: 63
Make British Airways Great Again!

Okay maybe a bit of a controversial title but otherwise certainly well intentioned

In light of the recent pandemic and many of the unpopular strategic decisions made by the airline and the comparison of offerings by competitors, I thought of trying a new positive approach thread.

WW from my understanding is still leaving as the IAG CEO this month and his replacement Luis Gallego certainly has no easy task ahead of him nor does Alex Cruz for that matter. It is very well to sit back and to criticise but at the end of the day, it is not us making the final decisions.

If you were the boss of either BA or IAG what would you do?

What new products or services would you like to see?

Pros & Cons?

Considering the financial constraints on the airline, would you pay more to fly BA if they were world leading again?

N.B. Please be sensible with your answers considering the current situation and respect other peopleís views.
londonba2014 likes this.
flybymonkey is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 1:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: LON
Programs: Mucci, BAEC, Eurostar
Posts: 1,827
The problem is we were seeing good improvements before covid hit. Catering was improving, club suite is being rolled out etc. I don't think BA can make F work the same way ME3 airlines can (although AF and LH are way above IMHO), but realistically speaking I'd say get back on the previous trend, and in the short term, they should do something about catering! And then maybe improve the F soft product.

On the downside, the way the staff cuts have happened is a let down in my opinion. But their schedule and routes means they're second to none if you live in London.
James91 likes this.
alex67500 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 2:15 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: Mucci des Hommes Magiques et Magnifiques
Posts: 16,228
Lightbulb

What ever happens in the future getting the most out of the employees is going to be very difficult, the staff are the glue that keep the airline together when things get tough or go wrong.
Can I help you is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 2:20 pm
  #4  
V10
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Provincie Antwerpen, Vlaanderen, BelgiŽ
Programs: MUCCI Gold
Posts: 2,506
Things that are necessary are often not that popular. Many of BA's most lucrative services just can't operate right now, and it may never get those business travellers flying in premium cabins back - not because its offering is not comparing well with competitors but because the post-covid world ushers in a different attitude to business travel. First and foremost the only job is to ensure the airline survives and from that point of view anything that involves splashing cash is unlikely to happen and small tweaks here and there is as much as should be hoped for.

BA does need a visionary and capable leader who can help drive a post-covid strategy and vision for BA within the wider IAG group, but I definitely do not think that Alex Cruz is that person. The new IAG chief would do well to look beyond compatriot loyalty sooner rather than later.
V10 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 2:29 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3,416
What I would do if I were IAG CEO/BA CEO?

In no particular order:

- Keep ROIC at aronund 15% (Covid allowing)
- Keep operating profit margin around 10/15%
- Keep the gearing ratio at around 50% and a healthy cash balance
All of the above are must-haves to avoid ending up like Virgin.

Having done that, I'd argue that the thing that BA needs the most is a new chapter in the employee-employer relationship. I'd sack a lot of the BA MC members for not being MC material, and being yes men/women to Alex or simply not being good enough in their field. I'd then replace quite a few of the managers in the operational areas (throwing IFCE under ops here for a sec) as the kindergarten approach to managing their people isn't working. I'd replace them with people with proven ability to motivate, manage fairly and treat their employees like human beings. I'd then make clear rules on bonuses and so forth.

Finally, I'd make onboard service simpler, easier to deliver and of higher quality. Oh, and I'd centralise budgets when it comes to expenditure that hits the customer. Today Engineering will reduce the budget for cabin appearance but is not exposed to the cost of, say, not stocking on seat covers (cost is allocated to another centre). If such costs were allocated to everyone, or to a budget that hits everyone (and if Engineers had a bonus related to number of ADDs, or time to clear one) BA would have the best cabins in the world.

My 2p's worth.
13901 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 2:59 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Programs: Executive Club
Posts: 450
I think that just as we are sensing that for a lot of people working from home is the new normal, we are also going to see a lot less flying for business customers long-term. And if Covid does go on for a few years, and we have this constant on/off in terms of where we can and can't go to, it's also going to knock a lot of leisure passenger business on the head. I just see a lot less passengers, and those who fly much less sensitive to price - flying because they really need to get somewhere, irrespective of how much it costs. So this whole obsession with cost-cutting "running in the DNA of the company" really needs to be rethought. I think the direction of travel will be more expensive fares, more space per passenger, more value-added, and much more emphasis on quality. If I am right, then I would really question whether the current leadership are up for the job.
T8191 likes this.
JessicaB is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:15 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 2,435
I think BA need to continue pushing leisure routes and expanding their offering. We know business traffic will be slower to recover than leisure so they need to adjust their schedules accordingly. Maybe focus on VFR heavy routes too.

The LHR leisure routes have performed really well (Santorini/Mykonos/Malaga) but I think the winter offering could be expanded a bit. I imagine winter sun routes will be big business this year given that most people have lost their summer Ďbeachí holiday. So maybe they could add Fuerteventura/Hurghada/Havana and move some Xmas market routes to LHR (Cologne/Nuremberg).

I would drive BA Holidays more and emphasise itís success and the benefits of booking a package during the uncertainty. Also, drive the importance of booking with a reputable company given the volatility of the airline industry.

I would continue the Club Suite till rollout as planned. Although itís expensive and counterintuitive, customers will want to be away from other people and will end up picking competitors over the old CW layout where you face everyone.

I would introduce larger hot meals for BOB (A Full English, Pasta, Sausage and Mash). This will increase ancillary revenue and improve customer experience on the longer routes.
BAeuro is online now  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:17 pm
  #8  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 31,335
Whatís a ďVFR heavy routeĒ?
KARFA is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:18 pm
  #9  
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the air
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Tit/ LT Plat, Hilton Diamond, BA Gold
Posts: 6,868
I do think repairing relations with employees has to come near the top of the list. We donít know what the next 10 year holds, except that itís pretty unlikely to be different to the next 10 years.

BA needs to learn how to listen to its employees to be able to make the right changes and to be trusted by them so that they can implement them.
BearX220, becks1 and SxMan like this.
EuropeanPete is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:34 pm
  #10  
Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold, Mucci
Posts: 8,734
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
What’s a “VFR heavy route”?
I'm curious too. I think it would be helpful and beneficial having fewer acronyms which folks, even here, might be unable to understand which are posted at the moment.

ROIC
BA MC
ADD
747_not_777 and MiraculousM like this.
PETER01 is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:36 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Programs: Mucci des Hommes Magiques et Magnifiques
Posts: 16,228
Visiting Friends and Relatives.
LCSinTexas and BAeuro like this.
Can I help you is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:37 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 69
More regional feeder flights perhaps
acucobol is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:41 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: UK
Programs: Lemonia. Best Greek ever.
Posts: 2,005
To most people in Aviation, VFR means Visual Flight Rules.
Ancient Observer is offline  
Old Sep 5, 20, 3:49 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 2,435
Apologies for not being clearer. As CIHY said, I meant Visiting Friends and Relatives.

A lot of families who live all over the world will want to reunite and visit each other. Whether that be for belated celebrations or just to see distant relatives when borders open.
BAeuro is online now  
Old Sep 5, 20, 4:06 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 377
Originally Posted by BAeuro View Post
Apologies for not being clearer. As CIHY said, I meant Visiting Friends and Relatives.

A lot of families who live all over the world will want to reunite and visit each other. Whether that be for belated celebrations or just to see distant relatives when borders open.
Clearly this is the VS approach with their route expansions in Pakistan.
James91 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: