View Full Version : BA - 1800 jobs to go this year

PPRuNe Towers
4th Sep 2001, 20:16
err, that's it.

4th Sep 2001, 20:28

The company said it aimed to achieve the "headcount reduction" through voluntary means such as natural wastage.

The news of where the savings are to be made was given to GBM union officials at a meeting with the BA today:

450 among support staff
250 in customer services
200 in engineering
350in world sales and cargo
100 in flight operations

The airline said its workforce had already reduced by 3000 staff in the last year
through voluntary means.

Edited with more info.

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Gordo. ]

4th Sep 2001, 20:40
There's plenty of wastage going on at the moment - 270 peeps per airframe! A reduction in head-count of 1800 should take it down to - ooh, lets see, (sucks on pencil) - err, about 262?

Puts it into perspective about how this is only scratching the surface.

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: overstress ]

4th Sep 2001, 20:40
Short and sweet there PPT!

From the BBC;

British Airways has told unions it is cutting 1,800 jobs by the end of the year.
The company said it aimed to achieve the "headcount reduction" through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage.

Engineers, cabin crew and customer services staff will be among those affected by the cutback.

Operating profits have nearly halved at British Airways, but the airline claims its strategy of focusing on high value customers is starting to pay-off.

BA recorded a pre-tax profit of £40m for the three months to June, compared to a £50m loss for the same quarter last year.

But this year's figure includes the £100m profit the company made when it sold its no-frills airline Go in June.

More soon.

4th Sep 2001, 20:47
Two points;
firstly, why the front line staff to go and not the Waterworld cappucino drinkers?
Secondly, if they made a £40m profit for the three months to June, compared to a £50m loss for the same quarter last year, and that includes the 100M for GO, then logically if you take away the GO money from the pot what you actually have is a 60M loss, which correct me if I'm wrong is bigger than a 50M loss. So that doesn't prove the theory about high yield pax now, does it?

4th Sep 2001, 21:15
According to the BBC B.A. also stated that there would be further redundancies next year.

It would seem that all the 'suits' are to remain, for the time being anyway.


4th Sep 2001, 21:28
According to a colleague at BA, they also plan to withdraw all 747 classics by the and of the year!!!

Grandad Flyer
4th Sep 2001, 21:38
According to the Daily Express financial pages today, BA are going to make a loss of £65m this year instead of the predicted £150m profit.
Interesting to see if the pilots get their pay increases.

4th Sep 2001, 21:45
Out of interest, your so called Waterworld cappucino drinkers, would they not be included in support staff....if not, what grouping would they be included in?

The last year total of job cuts was 3,000 and this year is 1,800 (so far)...that is around 7% of the total workforce over 2 years(4,800/65,000)...SERIOUSLY what % would people think is sensible...and I am assuming that everybody thinks they need to come from 'the suits'?

Not trying to stir it up, but do BA not need to slim down the numbers of cabin crew as in fitting with the new strategy, less passengers are being carried (Please note that I don't think just cabin crew numbers should be reduced!)

Please serious answers only....ducking for the barrage!

Count Acclaim
4th Sep 2001, 22:14
I know BA needs to control the cost of new capital it might want to raise and presumably thats why they keep paying out more in dividends than they earn. But the share price keeps going down and you can't pay out all your retained earnings for ever. How about the fat cats in the city having to take it on the chin for a change - and not just the staff?

4th Sep 2001, 22:19
Mmmh - Interesting that each group blames the other!

The feeling amongst the suits is that they've taken all the headcount hits so far and although we now fly less pax than before we still have the same number of cabin crew and pilots so it's about time you guys felt some of the pain too.

Looks as though the cuts will be more evenly spread across the board this time. I think the comparison some of you make about 'suits' to aircraft is erroneous. You compare BA with airlines such as Easyjet and Virgin who outsource most of their support functions and so don't have IT, Engineering etc of their own.

The vast majority of 'suits' I know work bloody hard for BA and have a genuine commitment to it being a success. There are a few rotten apples in every basket but many of the 'suits' are incredibly frustrated by a culture where bean counters rule and there's too much bureaocracy.

The suits include a great majority of hard working people who plan the fleet, sell the tickets, buy the planes, run the IT, email the customers and design the advertising. They have families and mortgages too and when they hear the word redundancy they fear for their families just the same as you guys do.

Fact is like every airline at the moment we are in a pickle. We've more chance of getting out of it if we pull together and understand what we can all contribute. I know without pilots there's be no airline, but the same can be said for the guys in Newcastle answering the phone and I think earlier this year we all realised how important the IT fellas are too when that went belly up.

Perhaps not a popular view but an attempt to achieve a balance of perspective here.


Justin A Beaver
4th Sep 2001, 22:36
So, BA has problems. How many European 'flag' carriers are also having a few financial worries? (Swissair and Sabena come to mind).

Instead of ditching Go, it should have looked to enhance its operation. I see the classics are for retirement, but I always understood that they were destined to be used by Go. No frills long haul. Go submitted route applications to loads of far away destinations.

So is anyone surprised at the BA downfall?

Good luck Go, Ryanair and easyJet, all it needs now is a low-cost to operate long-haul!

Job losses are an inevitable concequence of 'value' for shareholders. Short-term profit over long-term strategy?

Lou Scannon
4th Sep 2001, 23:23
No need to panic. Every year or so BA announce heavy redundancies and then within months their staffing levels clmb even higher.

4th Sep 2001, 23:34
Lou is right, it sounds like another round of getting rid of staff, only to re-employ them when it's realised that they actually did something! I only hope that they can really do this by retirements etc, rather than anyone getting the chop, only to be taken back later.

4th Sep 2001, 23:34

With reference to you first paragraph regarding 'suits', headcount hits', 'pilots' and 'pain'.

I would have to say that unless all the 'suits' start brushing up on their ATPL's it is very unlikely that Pilots will be made redundant in the near future. In fact we are still busy training new entrant Pilots right now.

I'm pleased that the majority of 'suits' you know work very hard and are committed to the airlines success. Likewise most of the people I have contact with (in many departments, 'suits' included) are of the same inclination. Nevertheless I doubt the 'pain' will be evenly applied or even felt at all in some departments. Take the BA board for example, how much pain do you think they will be made to feel? My guess is probably not a lot, which some may consider a touch unfair when you look over the past few years.

You state "Fact is like every airline at the moment we are in a pickle". Call me picky but I'm afraid I don't agree, many airlines are in a pickle but not all.

I do of course sympathize with anyone who is unfortunate enough to find themselves affected by this latest round of job cuts. In the past BA has proved itself as a caring employer and managed cuts through 'natural wastage', I hope this time will be no different.


5th Sep 2001, 00:04

I take your point and I think you're right the board have made some terrible errors which they rarely really feel the pain of.

I am reassured by your comment that you continue to foresee a need for pilots to be hired. I'm about to leave my suit job behind and self fund an ATPL in order to join you all at the sharp end. I got to final selection in 1991 only to have recruitment frozen and my lifetime career aspiration dashed - I don't need a repeat of that.

Let's hope as you say that nobody will suffer compulsory job loss in any dept.

Clear skies,

Desk pilot

Flyin' High
5th Sep 2001, 00:16
So give thet arguements so far... Should BA not look to out source many of it "suit" positions.... None of airlines which are currently doing well have in-house "suits" ?

5th Sep 2001, 00:18

Of course any redundancies affect people, and most of us have mortgages and as such are affected and concerned at our abilities to provide for our loved ones, that's natural and I'm sure that no one would have any issue on that point.

However, whichever way you look at it, the numbers at BA do not add up. Despite divesting many functions over the Ayling years through a policy of outsourcing various tasks (be it Engineering functions (wheels, brakes and eng overhaul) and catering, security etcetc, we [and yes I am a Nigel, within BA] still have 250+ employees per aircraft in comparison to DLH et al of 220-ish, who by the way, still retain the aforementioned functions plus others in-house.

So, when taking this in conjunction with a policy of reducing capacity and transferring work to BMed, GB, BRAL, etc, and the numbers at HQ inexorably rising, what do you think is required - more people as an overhead per aircraft, or fewer?

Well, I know what I believe, and when I heard the news that jobs were to be shed at BA, and that the number was ONLY 1800 and that they were coming from in the main frontline staff, then I thought f*** me, that will require 2000 more staff at Waterside to manage the process, and THAT IS WHERE THE PROBLEM LIES..... we need to shed 10,000 non-frontline staff. That alone will improve annual profitability by £1bn pa.

Any arguments?

I think not.....

The Guvnor
5th Sep 2001, 00:54
Getting rid of the President and Chairman should shave well over a million quid from the company's bottom line - and much of BA's woes are directly attributable to that pair. That said, John King did an excellent job transforming BA from a state enterprise to a public one - shame he was rather immoral in some of his actions!

Dave Hedgehog
5th Sep 2001, 01:20
Im just a bit worried here, if BA keep losing money, then surely their pilot sponsorship training scheme will go too? as a potential future user of this scheme (subject to the application process of course :( ). At the moment, this seems to be my only way into aviation, so naturally im a bit concerned....

5th Sep 2001, 02:06
TopBunk said: have 250+ employees per aircraft in comparison to DLH et al of 220-ish, who by the way, still retain the aforementioned functions plus others in-house.

I work at Frankfurt. Lufthansa Sky Chefs, Lufthansa Leos (GSE and MT) and Lufthansa Technik are all operated as separate companies from the main airline. Now, whether those staff are included in the "per airframe" headcount, I don't know but I doubt it.
Fact: A team of 4 LH engineers will get two longhaul turnrounds to do in an 8 hour shift.
Fact: There are numerous Transit vans parked all over FRA with sleeping Lufty engineers, every day.
Fact: If they're not sleeping in the vans, they're kipping on the upper deck of Thai and SAA jumbos.
Fact: LH are in deep **** with JAR 66 licensing. They (and Condor) currently have loads of subbies penning their a/c off at 40 quid an hour.
Every day when I look at LH I wonder how they ever make *any* money.

I also have intimate experience (ooh er missus!) of United. Sheesh, what a bloody shower.....

sudden twang
5th Sep 2001, 02:12
Well I know of several pilots who would take voluntary redundancy now if it were offered . I'm one and my co pilot today is another but the fact is we are needed and we are cheap . The airline is downsizing in terms of no of seats but not in no of a/c so it needs the same no of pilots and come to think of it engineers .

5th Sep 2001, 03:29
With all this talk of 250+ crew per aircraft at BA, have any of you borne in mind the huge numbers of people at BA that are on part-time contracts?
There is a huge amount of crew on 33,50,75% and jobshare contracts, also a number of crew involved in training,promotions, recruitment,And countless other off-flying duty tasks.

If you were a cabin crew member onboard, you certainly wouldn't feel that the operation is overcrewed.

There are many other worldwide airlines in a much worse position at the moment ,so this is not a unique situation to BA.

It was only mentioned today,that this time 7 years ago, in a time of high profits, there were 1000's less managers/suits , so where are they going wrong?

Naughty Nigel
5th Sep 2001, 04:29
I know BA senior managers read this stuff. Please, tell me, why oh why are these cuts being targeted at front line staff? Please, I know you're reading this. Tell me your reasoning, and maybe we'll all be enlightened and shut up!

I can't believe Rod can look at the airline and think it needs to cut frontliners instead of the endless "managers". Everyone I know, including city types, thinks it needs staff cuts from the backroom people who don't so directly affect the passengers experience, not the frontline staff. The vast majority of people I know who have flown with BA think the service is great - this is the thing that distinguishes it from other airlines - so why cut into that advantage.

I seriously wonder about the sanity of some people in charge. Madness.

5th Sep 2001, 10:31
The simple fact of the matter is that BA is not making a profit from all its bases or markets. Yes the North Atlantic Premium Class makes plenty of profit but lets face it a lot of you are flying aircraft which generate absolutely no money at all.

Now tell me which is most useful to the company a pilot who flies an aircraft which makes a loss or a suit who does nothing of any value to the organisation?

I'm sure you'll agree that in the long run neither have any future in a business as competitive as this is becoming.

That is why the cuts will affect everyone this time.

Desk pilot

[ 05 September 2001: Message edited by: Desk-pilot ]

Porn Star 2000
5th Sep 2001, 10:49
Has it occured to anyone that this just might be an attempt by BA to scare the pilots in the run up to the hefty wage talks?

It seems like the perfect way to turn the shareholders and consequently the public against 'greedy' and 'overpaid' pilots!!!


5th Sep 2001, 11:48
I can't believe how introspective some of you are. Take a look around you boys and girls. Air Canada and NorthWest are downsizing. Continental are retiring their DC-10 fleet to the desert. FeDex and DHL are delaying new aircraft deliveries. Airbus and Boeing are reducing future aircraft delivery forecasts. etc, etc.....

The fact is that there is an economic downturn. When such a downturn occurs revenues fall, in whatever part of aviation your business is concentrated.

So when revenues fall, how do you protect the bottom line? Easy - reduce costs! And, as we all know, the quickest and easiest way to drive costs out of the business is to reduce headcount. It's a route Chief Executives have taken, are taking and will continue to take as long as we have economic cycles.

The nub is where to take out the heads, but then that's over to you Mr Eddington.

5th Sep 2001, 12:25
This shouldn't really shock anyone at BA. Was it not their own newspaper reporting a cut in profits quite recently which is normally a signal that there is more to follow.

As BA have stated there intent to concentrate on the 'premier' end of the travel sector, the need for less cabin staff is certainly one area for staff reduction.

Don't get me wrong, I always try to fly BA where possible as they have a brilliant route network, if not their own then one of their partners. I have always found the staff helpful and cheerful and I hope that any reductions needed can be made without compulsory redundancies.

Good luck to the staff at BA

5th Sep 2001, 13:05
Desk Pilot,

I think you can probably tell from the comments of my fellow pilots that many of us are SO frustrated with the waste of time and money on 2nd or 3rd line staff. Why do we need a Community education Centre at waterWorld with its attendant 'tutors'? Why do we need 'Sustainable Resources Education Executives'? the answer is we don't. We have far, far too many people in BA who do not contribute directly to the job. In case you or your colleagues have forgotten, we are an airline and we aim to fly people from A to B and make money from it. Anything else is irrelevant. We are not a computer company; so let's bin IT/IM or whatever they're called this week and outsource that work (they do enough outsourcing themselves already and it means we can get rid of X thousand salaried staff who cost extra with their 1st class staff travel). We are not a school, nor publishing company; so can the Ed Centres and BA News. I think we can safely say that consultancy agants can go and likewise the hundreds of buyers and purveyors of pencils etc. I could go on and on and on and what wouldn't I give for a few hours of Rod's time and a tour around the company to show him where we can save millions.

It's not all Water World and we know that, but that's where most of the waste is. I further suggest that CSDs are binned from shorthaul aircraft and, since CSDs are, allegedly, being paid extra money to write cabin crew assessments and perform their 'Senior Manager On Board' duties, lets get rid of the MCSessessess. There is scope to reduce the number of cabin crew, but not too much, for very good reasons: (a) thye are required by law according to the number of people capable of being carried, so that puts a definite limit on the big scheme, but more importantly (b)they are front line staff and help make us money. They are as vital to us being an airline as the aircraft themselves, so we shouldn't be looking at too many going there. All that having been said, it's going to be the responsibility of Cabin services to take a long and hard look at all the sickies and no-show commuters etc and put them on the pile of 'not required'.

Engineers. Well I'm shocked at the numbers they reckon are going to have to go. As far as I can tell, that is one dept that is already cut back too much already. If the aircraft can't fly, we can't make money and I reckon we already have too much difficulty trying to get snags sorted when the birds are on the ground and these people are tearing around.

And so, you'll be pleased to know, to the pilots. Well, there isn't an airline without us, unlike 98% of Water World and no matter whether you like that or not, it's the truth. With a certain number of aircraft flying a certain number of routes and, given the limitations on how many hours they can fly, their is a finite number of pilots required. I genuinely don't know how many people we are under/over staffed but judging by the massive recruitment going on at the moment I would estimate being under staffed (especially if you look at my roster). We have got So many people leaving soon that the point is almost not worth writing about. Needless to say, I believe we can make savings and one of the first is to get all the pilot managers out from behind their desks and do the job they joined BA to do-fly aircraft (in case they'd forgotten). A little bird tells me that recruitment is going to come to a very sharp grinding halt in the next few days...well, for DEPs at least...so that should give the 'Executives' as all at Water World are called something to grin about during their next Feng Shui meeting over coffee by the river.

And so, to my solution:

* Huge cuts in non front line staff
* Outsource jobs that are not directly related to flying aicraft and bin the staff
* Bring the routes back into BA proper and stop mucking around with GB/BMed/CitiExpress etc. They do a good job and are great people, but it's not BA and that's what we should be looking at
* Do it NOW and not wait until people can re-invent their positions/titles and remain a waste of time and money
* Sell Waterside and rellocate the sliimed down workforce to the Compost Heap and if they don't fit, then it's off the Newcastle or somewhere similar where it doesn't cost God knows how many millions to sustain a London property.

Here endeth the lesson according to Pontius.


Oh, PS: If 'they' think this is going to stop me going on strike to sort out our pay deal they've got another thing coming.

5th Sep 2001, 13:14
Just to correct to some of the figures mentioned above let me point out a few facts that I think a few people have been getting confused about.

Operating Profit is just that, the profit made on your operations and does not include profit/loss on acuqisitions or disposals.

For a full description try the BA web site

Rather than a full post let me try to show some basic figures for the 3 months up to June in the years 2001 and 2000. (millions)

Total Turnover 2,297 2,310
Expenditure 2,247 2,213
Operating Profit 50 97

See how the operating figure has been halved. This is an important figure as it shows how well BA's actual operation is performing. The sale of GO is NOT included.

Now to add a few more points including

Profit/(loss) on sale of fixed assets and investments, interest net payable, and charges on currency borrowings:

P&L on disposals 92 (58)
Interest (81) (70)
Currency (23) (19)
Total P/L b4 tax 40 (50)

So in summary, the operating profit has been halved.
But profit b4 tax has risen from a 50 mill loss to a 40 mill profit due to the Profit/(loss) on sale of fixed assets and investments.

Hope this helps.

5th Sep 2001, 13:24

Right On!!! ;) ,

Underdog :cool:

5th Sep 2001, 13:46
Not for this first time, I find myself in complete agreement with Pontious.

When Mrs Roobarb told me yesterday that 18,000 jobs would be going at BA, I thought right, at long last Bonzer Rod has taken the bit between his teeth and we’re off. Finally we’ve taken the problem by the throat and decided on clear direct action to turn this company around.

Unfortunately, she’d got it wrong and so has Rod. The figure of 1800 is a sop to the company’s critics in the city and elsewhere, and the ‘across the board’ nature is a sop to the vulnerable staff groupings. Such action is woefully inadequate, and by attacking the front line customer service personnel and operational functions will directly impact on the quality of the service we provide to our customers.

Desk Pilot, you say that your colleagues are seeing passenger numbers fall whilst pilots and cabin crew numbers increase – there is a very good reason for that. Because of the company’s failure to plan for the future in the last 20 years, we are having to recruit heavily to replace retiring staff in a market where such people are at a premium. An entirely avoidable position. The reason that passenger numbers are falling is because the company told all the economy passengers that they were no longer wanted, and the company decided to buy small aeroplanes so that we cannot fly any more passengers. An entirely avoidable position. We are also having to address the crass policy of the Ailing one which contracted out all essential functions whilst developing Feng Shui Marketing and Aromatic IT departments in house in a brand new corporate palace built on a rubbish dump. This failure to focus on the mission has left us with twice the number of the wrong staff. An entirely avoidable position.

The assertion that somehow all departments must share the grief is simply wrongheaded. Why must we cut down on ESSENTIAL engineering, dispatch, customer service and crew numbers, when they are PRECISELY the people who we need to reinforce the quality of the product to the premium passengers that we seek to fill our toy aeroplanes? Why am I told that we mustn’t point the finger of blame at individual departments, when if those people had worked for the Lord Protector, they would be swinging from the Compass Centre by their own mouse?

How did we end up with hundreds of nefarious management staff in Waterworld, or more frequently working from home, for whom there is little structure to their employment and still less performance accountability? Having spoken to some of these individuals, it is clear that they are so disconnected from the customer that they cannot hope to deliver a product that our customers would want to buy. That’s how we ended up with ‘deli-bags’. In the vacuum of Waterworld, the management is simply incapable of maintaining an accurate view of the market and our position in it. Such decisions must be taken by those who know our customers, those who work with hundreds of them every day.

I’m sorry that people will necessarily lose their jobs, but we simply do not have the luxury of keeping some of the ridiculous job functions that you can read about in the middle pages of Pravda. Many of these people do not see BA as a lifetime career, and so will simply go on to ‘Director of Aromatherapy, Amalgamated Widgets plc’, it’s just another job to them. Motivated by nothing other than meeting their nominated targets for the year to achieve their personal bonus, these people run unhindered and unsupervised with little interest in the commercial impact of their efforts, and escape the consequences financially. Rest assured that they will not’ feel the pain’.

For the benefit of those who have committed themselves to this company and have invested all of their professional life in its future, it’s time for us to leave this disastrous management experiment behind and return to profitability. We need to provide the best possible product, safely, smoothly, on time, and with their bags. Anybody who is not directly involved in that task should form part of that 1800, and should make up the bulk of the thousands of others who are riding the gravy train at our expense.


5th Sep 2001, 13:53
Very well said Pontius - I would so love to send your reply to Rod himself (& not via any sort of chain of command to get sanitised) & see what his reply would be.
Do you fancy a job running BA? :D

5th Sep 2001, 15:33
It's interesting that deskpilot and others see a reduction in the pilot numbers as part of the solution. Whenever this has been tried in the past it has always led to loads of drafting to cover the operation, and given us a better result than any pay deal.

5th Sep 2001, 19:08

Just thought I'd prolong the mutual appreciation society and congratulate you on a sound and intelligent message.


Run the airline......Mmmmm. I once stayed awake for a long time one night thinking about the changes I'd make. I wouldn't be popular but I reckon I could get us out of a lot of the problems Bob invented for us.

I have to admit, I'm quite disappointed in Rod, so far. It's a good idea to get into a new position and take stock, rather than change everything immediately, but has anyone noticed him do anything yet? A bit of KLM & AA resurrection and that's it. What are we paying this one for I wonder. I just wish he'd stop faffing and get on with it (using Mrs Roobarb's head chopping count).

Toodle pip,


5th Sep 2001, 19:59
Pontious: why don't you send in that bit after refining to Pravda and see if they print it.

5th Sep 2001, 19:59
Just as an aside, I flew in this morning with BA from the US and the poor mood of the cabin crew was very noticeable... even though they weren't exactly busy, with Club only 30% full... I couldn't figure out why, thought I'd just got a particularly stroppy bunch, until I read the papers on arrival.

BA has made huge strides forward in its customer service over the last three years and, as everyone here seems to agree, is the most consistent and reliable airline in the world today. It would be a great shame if BA were now to copy the flawed strategy of Delta, circa 1990-2000, in cost-cutting its way out of the customer satisfaction game.

5th Sep 2001, 21:10

I do not suggest at all that redundancies should be targeted at pilots any more than anywhere else. My point is that BA is making losses on many of the routes it flies to. To address this we have reduced capacity over the past 2 years and not cut the number of front line staff - only those in the back office which I think some would see as a little unfair.

It seems to me that there is an assumption here that anyone who doesn't fly a plane or check a passenger in is contributing nothing and is thus expendable and I can assure you this is absolutely not the case. There is undoubtedly some dead wood but speaking from experience most of the people I know are as passionate about BA as I am.

The marketing guys I saw this afternoon are hard at work organising a TV crew to promote the Concorde re-introduction of service, the press office are similarly busy, the IT guys are holding togather the world's third biggest computer network and all the systems you and the rest of ops depend on 24/7. If the LIBRA bag system (as an example) went down for even a month every bag in every airport BA flies to would have to be manually reconciled - not a pretty thought!! Others are redeveloping the BA website so that it's easier to use and delivers value added services for premium passengers such as WAP checkin and proactive notification of flight delays etc. Surely you can't be suggesting that these things don't matter - can you?

The suggestion that you could replace all these people with a bunch of third party companies cheaper and better is not true IMHO. I have friends who work in Management Consultancies such as Accentia and do you know they charge us around £2000 a day for a Project Manager? I would question whether the person you hire AT TEN TIMES THE COST OF A SIMILARLY QUALIFIED BA SUIT would have any of the airline knowledge and experience you need. Engineering outsourced their IT and that hasn't exactly proved a rip roaring success has it?

I don't particularly want a ruck with you guys but I think you're making a lot of invalid assumptions mainly that a huge global airline or any other multinational company can exist without significant back office functions is illogical. How many backroom staff do you think General Motors, Levi Strauss, Coca Cola, IBM etc have? Why do you think the airline industry is any different?

I would be the first to admit that BA Management have made some crass errors of judgement over the years. I'm actually no great fan of the back office but I just feel to lump everyone there into the pot as 'useless to BA' is unfair.

No hard feelings I hope for expressing what I expect isn't a popular viewpoint here.


[ 05 September 2001: Message edited by: Desk-pilot ]

[ 05 September 2001: Message edited by: Desk-pilot ]

sudden twang
5th Sep 2001, 22:49
Desk Pilot ,

You run a good argument and no one doubts that suits are required to run an airline it really is just a question of how many ?

Did you know that BA has more employees per a/c than all of our competitors yes of course you did but did you know that we have far fewer pilots per a/c than those very same operators .

You point out that we have pilots operating a/c on rtes that don't make money but.....

Why don't we ??? others can .

It is very easy to say a rte does not make a profit it depends on many factors not all of them obvious for example MAN LAX never made a profit but then anyone who tried to buy a ticket fm Northern Uk would only be sold a tkt via LHR .

The one thing I do know is that any loss or indeed perceived loss is not down to pilot salaries BA pilots are some of the poorest remunerated and hardest working in the industry .

The fact is reducing pilot nos will just make things worse .

To prove my point ...

My first officer yesterday had been with BA 18 months flying a 767 fm LHR he is an engineering graduate a was accepted onto a sponsored course by BA so he must be pretty reasonable .

a friend of mine failed BA self sponsored now flies a Saab for a third level operator operating 35 hours per month less for £7000 pa more . Enough said

5th Sep 2001, 23:11
I worked for BA for nearly ten years - Roobarb has hit the nail straight on the head. How many times did I see BA folk retire on a Friday only to walk back in on Monday as consultants on twice the pay?!!! BA have got to clear some of the dead wood out of their operation. There are too many managers in the company - half the time their sole interest in life is getting their backsides on a First Class seat on a duty trip somewhere for no good reason. I once heard a group of graduate trainees talking about a competition they were running. It was to see who could clock up the most miles on DUTY travel!! - there really is no hope for this company because there are too many people at the trough not contributing to the operation.

6th Sep 2001, 00:27
Sudden Twang,

Thanks for the compliment (I think!) I'm with you a lot of the way really. I think that it's important that BA looks seriously at the way people are working in the back office because I agree there are huge opportunities to increase productivity which either means being able to do the same amount with less people or do more with the same people.

My experience is that far too much time is wasted taking decisions by committee rather than just empowering one person to look after a particular area. The back office is entrenched in a bureaocracy which needs to be broken down however most people are victims of the culture. Much of my time in BA I have been trying to change things for the better eg launch e-ticket etc but it's a very difficult place to make change happen and it gets worse in recession - every time you sneeze you have to have a business case for it!

I know that most of the people I speak with are as frustrated as I am by this. It's wrong that we use so many Consultants as we do when we have bright people in house who would come up with the same answers for a fraction of the cost.

Both my parents were BEA/BOAC - my Father as crew, my wife and I both work for BA and like you we care about this company! I just don't like being looked on as some sort of parasite because I currently work in the back office. I'm about to sign up for an ATPL with a view to joining you guys at the sharp end and am very worried by the prospect of doing all that only to find no pilot recruitment at the end of it so I think I can see the issues from both sides.

Clear skies to all of you and the very best of luck.

Desk pilot

6th Sep 2001, 01:17
Pontius, we at Brymon(soon to be CitiExpress) are wholly owned by BA unlike the others you mention. Also we operate routes that BAR cannot make a profit on or cannot operate fullstop(can't see a 737 or A319 getting in or out of Plymouth)We also make a profit, maybe small beer but at least we pay our way. Please don't denigrate the likes of us!!!

6th Sep 2001, 01:44
i think people are tiring a little of flying 'wannabies' and imposters. if you buy a BA ticket, fly the product and not a third level operator. the public are not that easy to con, they can see a fruad a mile off. i position often with (ex) CFE and what a joke, small cramped planes and staff who let down the BA product a lot of the time

6th Sep 2001, 03:09
Can someone tell me some facts please? How many operational & non-operational people does BA employ? How many non-operational people are employed in London? What do they actually do? Do they have an impact (either directly or indirectly) on flight safety, the airline product, customer service, employee welfare, etc?

I'm not making any judgements on people's contributions to the airline, I just want more info.

I'm not interested in badly thought out/poorly informed changes just for the sake of being seen to do something. Like most of you, I want to see a change which will improve BA's profitability whilst maintaining the airline as safe & reliable with consistently high standards. I'm assuming (or hoping) that BA's managers also have that aim. :confused:

6th Sep 2001, 03:43

You state, <<I'm not interested in badly thought out/poorly informed changes just for the sake of being seen to do something. Like most of you, I want to see a change which will improve BA's profitability whilst maintaining the airline as safe & reliable with consistently high standards. I'm assuming (or hoping) that BA's managers also have that aim.>>

Yes I do believe they have that aim but IMHO they are so divorced from reality that the target isn't anywhere in sight.

Reaching for the Prozac again

Harry Wragg
6th Sep 2001, 04:53
Hey WWIIACE why don't you sod off and position with any other airline. We at CFE would be delighted to replace you with a fare paying pax.

You may find that other short haul operators have exactly the same aircraft, or were you expecting a 747 in oil sheik config?

Harry hates b******t

6th Sep 2001, 12:12
On top of the 1800 jobs to go a further 120 Engineering positions to go at Manchester.
The Hangar is to be offered for sale (some negotiations in progress at this time) if it is not sold by next March it will be mothballed.
Further discussions regarding the 120 surplus staff to take place in the near future.

sudden twang
6th Sep 2001, 19:48
Some figures for thought ....
todays Telegraph ....
Ryanair 9.3 million pax BA 48 million
Ryanair 1500 workers BA 56000 i'll do the maths for you ...

Ryan 6200 pax / ee

BA 857 pax / ee

guess which one is in the black ?

oh and Ryanair are recruiting and paying their pilots more than BA . BA 747400 reaching 900 hours / year .

6th Sep 2001, 22:07
Twang if you are going to raise a point make it reasonable, I am unaware of any longhaul routes operated by Ryanair. Put 385 people on a Jumbo to Sydney for 24 hours or 100 a time going between Stanstead and Dublin every hour! Soon distorts the figures. Are you a bean counter. If not you are in the wrong job with those maths skills.

All areas of BA seem to be staffed by a vast number of people close to retierment. When I worked there some years ago, there were thousands on pay scales dateing back to Nationalised times. Some will have gone but not all. They need to swing the axe hard. As a previous post said not 1800 but 18000. Give them really good payoffs take the financial loss for a year or two and then bring young blood in on industry rates. Paying a Red Cap £25,000 a year plus all the O/T they can handle when Service Air could do the same job for £12,000 is madness. The same is true in most areas.

One thing to look out for though, If the share price (270p at close) goes any further south, unwanted suitors may be on the horizon.

6th Sep 2001, 23:15
Just thought I'd throw something else into the ring ..............

BA pilots constitute 14% of the headcount but cost 18% of the wage bill (or similar figures to that). Every other department in BA has a larger headcount percentage compared to their wage bill percentage.

If BA's pilots are some badly off compared to industry, maybe you all get paid too much.

Anyway, in consolation, I believe that the frontline staff are THE most important to the bottom line because if they make a bad impression on the customer then the customer doesn't come back. There are far too many fuzzy touchy feely people in this company and we should get back to the business of shifting bodies and tonnage instead of hugging trees etc.

Time to duck I think. :eek:

Carnage Matey!
6th Sep 2001, 23:21
I hardly think we can afford to start swinging the axe in the Dispatchers direction, we barely have enough of them as it is. How many groups in this airline do you see working 6 days in 7 and doing 16hr double shifts on a regular basis? Yeah Service Air may do it at half the price, but judging by some of the god-awful dispatchers we get down route I think our punctuality would be history if we lowered the very high standards we currently have. Plus who would bale the company out next time the computer wizards totally foul up DCS. Remind me again how much that computer failure cost us?

Having just read Pin-heads previous post, I'd like to correct his delusion that BA pilots represent 18% of the wage bill. I think you'll find that according to the companies own figures pilots wages are in low single figures percentages in terms of the total wage bill. Don't have the exact figures to hand, but I think it works at about 1.2% of BAs total costs.

[ 06 September 2001: Message edited by: Carnage Matey! ]

6th Sep 2001, 23:34
Garbage Matey - suggest you go double check those stats! I've no axe to grind with pilots (do some flying myself and drink with a few fully paid up ATPL's), just thought I'd throw in a wee grenade.

And there is an apostrophe in "Pin-heads".


t'aint natural
6th Sep 2001, 23:51
270p... hmmm. What's the asset value of an airline which owns half the slots at EGLL?
Say an average of £3 million a slot... (anyone at Airline Co-ordination Ltd care to enlighten me?) probably three times the current equity of the airline... for Heathrow alone...

The Guvnor
7th Sep 2001, 00:29
From today's Scotsman

BA: still up in the air BUSINESS COMMENT

All very well for British Airways to make of noises about relaunching Concorde in the wake of last yearís Paris crash.

But as far as investors are concerned, the more pertinent event has been the fall in the groupís share price below 300p (in fact down another 6p to 291p yesterday) from 470p at the beginning of this year as profitability heads for its own kind of crash.

The problems the airline is facing were underlined by figures showing traffic numbers fell faster than capacity in the year to August. The 1,800 job cuts announced on Tuesday will help reduce the cost base, but BAís short-haul operations are now looking like a financial luxury.

With long-haul also coming under pressure, chief executive Rod Eddington has major problems on his hands.

True, in such circumstances, the £20-£40 million profit contributed by Concorde previously will be very helpful if restored at the same level.

But it may well not be enough to stop the group sliding into the red for the year to next March.

7th Sep 2001, 10:27
Hmmmmmm ? Ansett revisited ! Oh, same suit in charge.

Porn Star 2000
7th Sep 2001, 10:38
If I were BA Shorthaul I sure as **** would be praying that I am senior enough to go 777 or 744 next bid time.

It will happen.


The Guvnor
7th Sep 2001, 12:01
Hmmm, the lads are showing a great deal of intelligence and forward thinking here - Germany is the hardest hit of all the European economies; Deutsche BA is losing money hand over fist; BA has been muttering for some time about either selling it off or closing it down - and these guys want to strike if they don't get a 12% pay increase?!? :confused: :eek: :confused:

From today's atwonline.com:

The 200 pilots of British Airways' loss-making German domestic subsidiary Deutsche BA have threatened "warning strikes" for next week to buttress their demands for 12% wage increases and other benefits, which have been under negotiation since June.

7th Sep 2001, 12:23
GERMANY 06/09/01

Actually Germany is doing quite well now

The low inflation figures come after Germany reported a surprise rise in business confidence in July and falling unemployment in August for the first time since December last year.

7th Sep 2001, 12:34
A few points:

Why are the job cuts being termed as 'across the board'? Does this mean that there will be less Board members?

If the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet and Go can all make money carrying passengers around Europe, we can't BA?
a) If people want to turn up, get on, paying for their drinks etc then that's fine. Time BA stopped pratting around realised what many CUSTOMERS want (not all I agree. However, there is a divider on the a/c) and start doing the same.........and b)The low cost carriers only charge £29, or whatever, on a small number of seats, the majority of their seats are often more expensive than BA's seats (who incidentally also take you to the major airport and not a back water 50 miles away) Why oh why do BA not stop being so gentlemanly and tell the public this in no uncertain terms? If they are offering better value for money make the public aware.
Desk-pilot this would be a far better job for the Marketing Dept. then working on a readvertising campaign for Concorde - leave that to the likes of the Daily Mail and BBC et al they seem to be doing a pretty good job so far. To highlight this point - when did BA say that they hope to start flying Concorde again? and how much profit did it generate last year? I bet many of us know the answers to both these questions and they certainly didn't come out of any BA marketing spectacular. Come on guys sharpen your vision!

Finally, we come to Guvnor!!

Guvnor - I'm sure that if you're not already paying yourself a CEO salary for your ground hugging airline that you will be as soon as you get an aircraft into the air. I presume that you would like a 'market rate' salary for this position? All we as pilots want is the same thing!

Now back to my water music :mad: :mad: null

sudden twang
7th Sep 2001, 15:24

You seem to suggest that I do not make a reasonable point well I thought I made it pretty clear .

Too many staff funny enough that is what you go on to say .

There is a difference between LH and SH but just look at the numbers the city seems to agree as indeed do you in a roundabout matter .

I'm not a beancounter !!

The Guvnor
7th Sep 2001, 16:17
Large Jet - you ask why "If the likes of Ryanair, Easyjet and Go can all make money carrying passengers around Europe, we can't BA?"

Well, BA tried that. Remember Go? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

A full service airline is completely different from a low cost one - it's like trying to compare apples with potatoes. BA's overhead per aircraft is something like fifteen times that of one of the low cost boys - and it's not all just 'suits'!

As for your claims that BA's full fares are cheaper than those on the low cost carriers, I've just done an exercise here, and have compared BA's full fare economy fares LON-GLA peak flights departing 12 Sep returning 13 Sep with the unrestricted return fares of GO, BD, FR and EZY. All fares were sourced from the respective companies' websites; and are exclusive of airport fees and taxes.


BA = £280 return
BD = £177
GO = £135
FR = £99.98
EZY =£229

It's very clear therefore that BA is indeed the most expensive airline on this route - and that surprisingly EZY is not far behind it. Considerably more reasonable are BD, GO and FR.

Super Stall
7th Sep 2001, 18:29
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the cheapest fare, Ryanair, don't actually fly to Glasgow but to Prestwick which is around forty miles away.

If you add the cost of transfer to the city, inconvenience, extra time taken (especially if you're a suit) it does'nt bring the price upto a full service fare but it does bring it more into line.

The Guvnor
7th Sep 2001, 19:02
SuperStall - you can go by bus from PIK to anywhere in Glasgow for 50p; or alternatively anywhere in Scotland by rail for 50% off (free if it's in the first year of a new route). Journey time by rail from PIK to Glasgow Central is around 45 minutes and fare is £2.50.

That's a lot cheaper - and not a whole lot slower - than coming in from Abbostinch (which isn't exactly a city centre airport!) :D :D :D

So, even factoring in the time - BA is still over £150 more expensive!!

BTW, the cheapest I've flown on FR PIK-STN was 50p and as I think I've said elsewhere more usually I've paid £4.50. Don't ever think I've seen BA fares like those!

Inspector Gadget
7th Sep 2001, 19:23
Why fly to an airport 20-40 miles outside London? Scotairways fly direct into London city from Glasgow. The prices are ok too.
Perhaps you enjoy train/bus travel in the south east? :)

7th Sep 2001, 19:39
I think Largejet hit the nail on the head. BA has to stop showing adverts of gravity defying coffee and start getting more aggressive with their marketing. They need to take the fight to low cost airlines. Start pointing out what is available to pax with BA. Give customers examples. Also they shouldn't take s**t form these cocky airlines who rub their noses in it at any opportunity. If BA does go down the pan I hope it isn't because it runs gentlemanly marketing campaigns.

7th Sep 2001, 19:43
A thought from Dunnunda to all BA staff:- For evidence of what Mr. Ed is up to, have a look at what he left behind in Oz in the form of Ansett Holdings. We are in awful strife, with no obvious assistance from anywhere, 15,000 jobs on the line and even the Federal Government doesn't want to know!
That is not to say that ALL AN's problems are of his making but, by God, he has responsibility to some degree. Take care!

Kind regards,


8th Sep 2001, 12:42
Correct me if I'm wrong but Ryannair also don't fly out of LHR or LGW but somewhere a little further out from The City of London.
You are correct Guvnor that BA did try with GO what a great job they did! My point was meant to be that if that is what the customer wants then someone is barking up the wrong tree by offering a product that people don't want.

The Guvnor
8th Sep 2001, 13:18
Large Jet - bear in mind that not all people have the same wants and desires - it would be a pretty boring world if so!

The low cost carriers, as proven by Southwest, will be used by the budget conscious traveller at all times; and by cash strapped business travellers during downturns. When the good times are here, though, those business travellers and the leisure travellers who have a spare bit of cash who want the prestige or simply comfort level of travelling with a full service carrier will do so.

Remember, this is the first serious economic downturn where we have had the low cost carriers around - following the WN model - and it will be interesting to see if what happens in the States happens here. I'm pretty confident - at least in the case of FR - that they will remain profitable. EZY I'm not so sure about: as you say they expanded very rapidly indeed but they are owned by a family with very deep pockets so as long as they remain committed they should be ok.

At the same time, BA and BD have never been faced with this sort of competition during a downturn: previously passengers really had no choice other than to fly with them or their offshoots and franchisees.

Go, at least in financial terms, was a bit of a disaster for BA - it made pretty substantial losses, though I believe that the sale price may well have recovered those. Go is not really a true 'low cost' carrier - it provides too many frills (which add cost) and I suspect that it may well end up making the same mistakes as Debonair.

Add to this the fact that both BA and BD as full service carriers use their short-haul services to feed into their long haul network - often on common rated fares meaning that the passenger is effectively flying shorthaul at nil additional cost - and you'll see that they are between a rock and a hard place on this one.

8th Sep 2001, 13:47
More old carp from the worlds virtual airline!, Its well known that the earlier you book with easy go ryan etc the less you pay!. The more flexible you are and earlier you book the less you pay, they even advertise that! So why is it surprising that easy are second most expensive?, all you are getting is what it say's on the tin!

Still I guess thats what real airlines like BA, easy, go, ryan, swissair, buzz, united, etc, etc, do, they take real people, paying real money, from real airports to other real airports. And you can buy tickets on them before April 2002, or 2003 or whenever!

Capt Pit Bull
8th Sep 2001, 14:05
Never mind the product.

What is needed is an advertising campaign with CUTE FURRY ANIMALS!

That should solve everything......

Not cute, not furry.

speed check
8th Sep 2001, 22:12
only 1800 planned next year is 10,000+

gas path
8th Sep 2001, 23:30
Couldn't be bothered to read the rest of the posts, but the classics will be gone by the year end (Dec). They are starting to show their age and as they are worked hard it's difficult to keep the add levels under control.
One 'suit' thats going.... the Engineering director Colin Mathews resigned last week. He's off to ruin.. er!! I mean work for Transco. The gas supply co.
Come to think of it I think I've only ever seen him once in the five years he's been at B.A.

9th Sep 2001, 07:41
night owl you speakum with straight tounge.
The under hand ways that he made money was amazing but ultimately terminal.Beware BA staff you wont be any different to us or cathay.

The Guvnor
9th Sep 2001, 14:53
Speed check - close. Actually, according to this article from today's Sunday Times it's another 8,000 over three years, with another 2,000 next year:

BA plans to axe 8,000 more jobs
David Parsley

BRITISH AIRWAYS is planning up to 8,000 job cuts over the next three years on top of the 1,800 announced last Tuesday. Rod Eddington, the airline's chief executive, is understood to be considering 10% to 15% cuts in the group's 58,000 staff in an effort to slash costs.

While BA would not comment on the move, one senior source said: "We will be making further job cuts after the 1,800 are complete at the end of our financial year on March 31, 2002. We have told the unions that further job cuts will be substantial. Substantial means at least 2,000 next year."

The cuts are expected to continue after 2002 as BA seeks to implement its strategy of concentrating on first and business-class passengers while cutting economy seats.

The decision to cut 1,800 jobs last week was understood to have been made in the past two weeks. One BA source said: "I was away for two weeks and there was no such plan. Then the slowdown in the world airline market became even more clear and the decision was taken to tell union people that we were cutting the jobs."

George Stinnes, BA's head of investor relations, also made it clear more job cuts were on the way. He said: "We are cutting 25% of our capacity and so far we've only cut 3% of the staff. I'm not saying the job cuts will be 25% to match the capacity reduction but 3% doesn't seem much, does it?"

Analysts such as Chris Tarry at Commerzbank and Chris Avery at JP Morgan agree further cuts are likely.

Tarry said: "It is clear that the market has turned down more quickly that anyone could have reasonably predicted at the beginning of the year. But the regrouping strategy is exactly the correct path to follow."

Avery said: "BA recovered first after the last downturn and will this time as well. Its strategy is right and that may mean job cuts. But it is the right strategy for the long term."