Running an airline in these times cannot be easy.

Even harder, running a publicly traded airline, where a CEO’s job isn’t just to keep passengers and employees happy, but also people who’ve put their faith in the company as a business, rather than a charity, by becoming shareholders.

According to British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, no further layoffs will be made at the airline despite the upcoming end of the furlough program in the UK, as part of the CJRS. It’s a breath of fresh air for a large workforce, who mostly feared the worst.

To make this improbable feat happen, it sounds as if British Airways is getting creative.

British Airways Won’t Layoff Additional Workers

In the UK, it appears something much better than the “old BA” has emerged from the turbulent times: a resilient airlines with a sense of compassion for its workforce.

It may not have quite as many employees as before, and that may absolutely have been necessary, but a unified workforce appears to be here. Sean Doyle, the CEO of British Airways told employees that no further reductions will be made, even when the UK Government ‘Job Retention Scheme’ comes to a formal close, despite objections by industry.

Instead, some pilots may go onto secondment with other partner airlines, such as Qatar Airways, according to Paddle Your Own Kanoo, and other employees will receive basic pay, as they transit to other roles.

Many people involved in the flying process, such as cabin crew, will help man call centers and other fields during the lull of the low season. Many pilots are currently also assisting in operations, ensuring planes leave on time, as often as possible.

“Admittedly, this is a hefty cost to the business when so little revenue is coming in, but we want to do the right thing by you – and that’s what we are going to do.”

“I’ll be honest with you. Your Management Committee thought long and hard about this. We are focused sharply on managing our costs, and the increase in our cost base when the furlough scheme ends will be steep.”

“We explored lots of things that would be right for our business, and would also help secure jobs, but which would mean some tough decisions for colleagues and possibly some difficult sacrifices, too.

“Instead, we need to begin the slow journey to recovery, as one BA family, back at work and rebuilding our operation.”

Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways

The Best British Airways Yet?

In many ways, British Airways has improved considerably over the last decade, such as the addition of new digital services, better airport facilities and top quality business class seats and new planes, among others.

On the news, there’s now absolutely no excuse for British Airways employees to establish their place as some of the best in the business. Some voluntary employment measures will remain, but the airline has chosen its people here, when other options were on the table.

Tough financial decisions were made to protect their jobs, and anything but industry leading effort would be an insult to passengers, shareholders and management who went to bat for those still around, even when many jobs aren’t strictly necessary at the time.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. Mr Doyle definitely seems to have shifted the executive’s approach. I hope to look forward to a time when this is reflected in the service that customers receive but BA have ALOT of ground to make up inc. in building confidence in them as an organization having any client focus.
    Staff is a great start especially after the way they have been treated for the past 2years but ultimately despite fortress Heathrow, BA have to start looking after their customers inc. financially. The same is true of the workforce who are facing increased costs and taxation yet have systemically had their T&C’s downgraded. Had BA management honoured their deal with pilots to repay when times were better, then perhaps there’s be more confidence in them and a willingness to accept a temporary reduction.

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