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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 11:13 GMT
BA to axe one-third of managers
Mr Walsh began work at Aer Lingus as a pilot
Mr Walsh began work at Aer Lingus as a pilot
British Airways is to cut almost 600 management jobs by March 2008, the UK airline has announced.

The job losses - 35% of the group's 1,715 managerial posts - are the first big move by new chief executive Willie Walsh to cut the firm's costs.

The brunt of the reduction will hit senior management, whose numbers are expected to fall from 414 to 207.

The target date is the one set for BA's move to Heathrow's new Terminal Five, currently under construction.

BA is not ruling out compulsory redundancies to achieve its targets - the first of which, the removal of 94 senior managers, falls due in March 2006.

In October, Mr Walsh said he did not foresee any compulsory redundancies in his shakeups - although BA says that was intended to relate to Terminal Five, rather than the airline as a whole.

The management cuts are intended to provide savings of 50m ($86.3m) as part of an overall target of 300m - the estimated cost of the airline's move to Terminal Five.

Rising costs

In a statement, Mr Walsh - who took over the top job in October after having served as chief of Irish airline Aer Lingus - said he had previously warned that costs were rising in most parts of the business.

BA aircraft on the ground at Heathrow Airport

"We are restructuring the airline to remove duplication, simplify our core business and provide clearer accountability," he said.

While Mr Walsh was at Aer Lingus, job cuts totalled a third of the airline's workforce.

His predecessor at BA, Rod Eddington, cut the firm's staffing by 14,000 to 46,000 during his five years in charge.

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