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BA Management

Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:19
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BA Management

I am beginning to wonder what is in the tea served at BA Board Meetings in recent times?
Announcements of large scale B737 Max orders, hard rumours of removing First Class, potential changes to historic Staff arrangements, Pension mismanagement etc
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 07:58
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The old saying used to go, if it ain’t broke- don’t fix it. The current management in most large companies fear doing nothing will cost their jobs, so change things just to make it look like they are doing something to justify their salary.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 08:28
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Originally Posted by cjhants View Post
The old saying used to go, if it ainít broke- donít fix it. The current management in most large companies fear doing nothing will cost their jobs, so change things just to make it look like they are doing something to justify their salary.
"We trained hard - but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."

Charlton Ogburn (though sometime mis-attributed to Petronius Arbiter)
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:07
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There's a whole sub-division of uselessness in the corporate world called 'change management', living under the illusion that not constantly changing things around means not following with the times. As is always the case, such sub-divisions develop ambitions way beyond their initial brief, and starts attempting to see what the future will bring and act accordingly. It almost always goes wrong, but since 'change management' is seen is a vital component of running a major business, all of senior management is fully vested in the idea and the concepts they develop. Thus the usual recipe for yet another failed attempt at developing a crystal ball, is to promote the senior change manager and throw even more money at it.

In the mean time, those guys and girls actually running the show are left bewildered, confused, demoralised and in utter contempt of their management. As this seeps through to the bottom line, more money, time and resources are thrown at 'change management', in an attempt to break the cycle.

Yes, they are indeed that stupid. But my oh my, do they ever surround themselves with an avalanche of fancy words, visions and missions.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:13
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If you always do, what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. Too many fine British Historical brands have gone to the wall, because they refused to Change, Adapt, Innovate.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:19
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BA have not ordered any aircraft, they never do. BA is just a subsidiary of a much larger organisation IAG. It is IAG who have signed an letter of intent to buy 200 B737 MAX aircraft, which will then be used by carious subsidiaries, one of which includes BA at LGW.

Admitedly interesting timing (means they were given an even better deal to announce now) and an interesting choice for a predominently Airbus shorthaul operator.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:50
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SMT Member; an excellent, succinct, comprehensive and accurate paragraph.

(I treasure my memory of being asked to leave a senior management meeting in BAA after saying "No point. You can't kick against the pricks." when asked to explain why I thought that some proposed "changes" were a pointless waste of time and money.)
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 09:59
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Originally Posted by Astir 511 View Post
If you always do, what you always did, you'll always get what you always got. Too many fine British Historical brands have gone to the wall, because they refused to Change, Adapt, Innovate.
True. It may not be "broke" but it will become outdated if you fail to innovate or consider changing customer requirements.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 10:05
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In the market in which these companies operate they have to adapt or they can quickly founder..

Taking first class as an example, the fundamental econimics of airline class require that good management keep it under review.


Meanwhile, the LoI for the MAX strikes me as rational given that keen competition between Airbus and Boeing can only be good for IAG.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:07
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Perhaps ironically, the old saying goes "the only real constant in life is change". But it has to be evolutionary change, not the "blue sky thinking" ideas dreamt up by idiots with business management degrees at strategy seminars.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:42
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The reason for stating an intent to buy the 737 Max is probably similar to the reason IAG bought the A350 and that is to keep the alternate supplier honest.

Fleet logistics would generate substantial savings by having an all Boeing long haul fleet.....but only if you can buy them at a sensible price. The same applies in short haul, and with the current difficulties Boeing are having with the MAX I rather suspect the price of shorthaul Airbusses are as high as they have ever been, not to mention them likely ramping up support costs.

Conversely the Max price may well be at an all time low and lets face it they won't get delivered/payed for if the problem does not get fixed.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 11:57
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
........not the "blue sky thinking" ideas dreamt up by idiots with business management degrees.....
It didn't seem to do Ryanair any harm.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:01
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Originally Posted by Boxkite Montgolfier View Post
I am beginning to wonder what is in the tea served at BA Board Meetings in recent times?
Announcements of large scale B737 Max orders, hard rumours of removing First Class, potential changes to historic Staff arrangements, Pension mismanagement etc
As described by others, BA Board did not order the aircraft, they are ordered by IAG and allocated as later seems appropriate, expected to be to the various Low-Cost arms; Vueling, Level, and BA Gatwick.

Did you see IAG also ordered 14 A321XLR the previous day at Paris ?

Every time for a generation or more a large BA/IAG order has been placed there are comments about "they are going all Boeing which is why Airbus lost", "they are going all Airbus which is why Boeing lost", "they deliberately try to keep it 50-50", and so on, selected to match the circumstance.

First Class is generally on its way out, worldwide; Business Class now is better, especially for seating, than First was a generation ago (when it was nothing more than larger, somewhat-reclining 2-abreast seats). Revenue per square metre of cabin floor is falling below that for Business. A notable proportion of F occupancy is not paying the full whack at all, but upgrades, mileage redemption, toadying to CIPs/VIPs on lesser tickets, etc.

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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:14
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Originally Posted by Andy_S View Post
It didn't seem to do Ryanair any harm.
I think that is mostly due to copying the Southwest airlines model and a healthy dose of right place-right time.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:30
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
"We trained hard - but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we were reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while actually producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization."

Charlton Ogburn (though sometime mis-attributed to Petronius Arbiter)
In the antipodes, Alan Joyce fills column inches in daily rags with diversity, inclusion, reduced waste flights and statements about same sex marriage.
Re-equipping Qantas, the least efficient airline across the Pacific the furthest thing from his mind.Can even ask Cousin Willie (IAG) how to order an aircraft for Qantas.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-...s-study/933361


"When you don't know what to do, just do something..."

-Sustaining talentless management for decades.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:42
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Originally Posted by Private jet View Post
I think that is mostly due to copying the Southwest airlines model and a healthy dose of right place-right time.
You're quite right of course. But the underlying point is still valid. Someone looked at the business model and decided not to leave it as it was, or to fine-tune it, but to fundamentally change it.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:44
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I fly BA a lot (10 S/H sectors in the past 7 days), usually down the back, and have very recently been introduced to the Recaro seats on the 320's. The routes I fly tend to be served by other operators and are quite often more keenly priced however historically, I choose BA because they offered a higher standard of service and, believe it or not, more comfortable seating than their competitors. When the M&S BoB was introduced, I paid, like everyone else for a cup of tea and a KitKat, but the new seats are really beyond the pale in my opinion - quite uncomfortable, non-reclining with less room and a hook to hang my jacket in front rather than at the side with a somewhat smaller tray table. This has completely changed my passenger experience and I will be looking at the alternatives from now on - I will not pay for a Club seat for the sectors I fly. Easy and most of the competition now effectively offer the same for less money. If this is an example of 'Change, Adapt, Innovate' I will do so by taking my business elsewhere.
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 12:56
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..or as I have put it
"To fly, to serve" has become "To fly, to screw as much money out of the passenger as possible"

I still recall the wonderful cooked breakfasts that were served on the "shuttle" flights from LHR to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester in the 1980's/1990's; made it a real pleasure to fly BA whereas now, I almost concede that the one maoin reason I pick is the ease of getting to LHR T5 compared to the other terminals. Am also re-evaluating my loyalty, based on recent experiences having chosen to fly BA with my own money exclusively for over 25 years (albeit an occasional passenger rather than a regular)
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 13:30
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Originally Posted by Reverserbucket View Post
I fly BA a lot (10 S/H sectors in the past 7 days), usually down the back, and have very recently been introduced to the Recaro seats on the 320's. The routes I fly tend to be served by other operators and are quite often more keenly priced however historically, I choose BA because they offered a higher standard of service and, believe it or not, more comfortable seating than their competitors. When the M&S BoB was introduced, I paid, like everyone else for a cup of tea and a KitKat, but the new seats are really beyond the pale in my opinion - quite uncomfortable, non-reclining with less room and a hook to hang my jacket in front rather than at the side with a somewhat smaller tray table. This has completely changed my passenger experience and I will be looking at the alternatives from now on - I will not pay for a Club seat for the sectors I fly. Easy and most of the competition now effectively offer the same for less money. If this is an example of 'Change, Adapt, Innovate' I will do so by taking my business elsewhere.
You make a valid point (And I actually agree it is an uncomfortable seat), and you will not be alone in taking your business elsewhere. The harsh reality of Business Economics, is that BA are forecasting that the lost revenue from migrating/lost passengers, will be more than offset by the reduced costs of fuel burn with a lighter seat, and higher density (if that's the case with the Recaro Seat.) I would also point out that Team Orange are retrofitting to the Recaro seat, so our options to Europe from UK may require that we take a Cushion (Or we can buy one on board - Nice Ancillary Revenue Stream!!!)
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Old 19th Jun 2019, 14:00
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I thought U2 were already using the Recaro's - they looked familiar when I saw the BA ones. I understand that the densified seating with the Recaro's and other enhancements have lead to complaints, but the basic fact is that judging by the majority of fellow customers I see each week, few would really notice any difference as most travel infrequently. I liked flying BA and have been a loyal customer for decades, always selecting them over the competition if available for both short and long-haul. I have plenty of hours in other operators aircraft/lounges etc. but have remained faithful to the BA product, until now.

I had a long conversation with a former colleague who has been with BA for a number of years last week and was dismayed to discover how low his morale is based on a number of recent changes, not least the removal of the last DFO which I understand really affected some who thought of him as highly capable. He also mentioned the use of mixed-fleet cabin crew (with the hats) and their T&Cs which I understand to be quite different to legacy CC contracts at BA. What might he have meant?
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