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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 March 2006, 11:53 GMT
New BA boss unveils shake-up plan
British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh
Willie Walsh is keen to make his mark
British Airways (BA) has unveiled a new shake-up plan, the first with Willie Walsh at the helm, but more jobs could be lost on the way.

BA's new business plan aims to save 450m ($781m) over two years, in time for the flag carrier's move to its new home in Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport.

About 200m will be spent on improving passenger comfort, including a new Club World seat and on-demand films.

But BA said the plans "could mean more job losses".

The airline has already cut staff levels by about 12,000 since 2002. Last year, it announced that 600 management jobs would be axed.

The Transport and General Works Union (T&G) is studying BA's proposals.

"Everyone wants BA to continue its success. But that must include recognition that the workforce and the unions have, and will continue to play, a key role," said T&G national secretary Brendan Gold.

Wide-reaching

As part of the review, the airline will target greater use of self-service check-ins and will upgrade its website.

The plan will make us fit for the future
Willie Walsh, BA chief executive

Nearly a third of BA customers bought their seats directly from the airline over the last year, the vast majority of them booked on ba.com.

BA said it would also take steps to improve punctuality and baggage performance.

In the next 12 months, the airline forecasts revenue growth of 4% to 5%, driven by increased capacity.

However, its fuel bill for 2006/07 is expected to rise by 400m to 2bn, which could result in further fuel surcharges on passengers' tickets.

"The plan will make us fit for the future," said chief executive Willie Walsh.

"By resolving our pensions deficit, reducing cost and delivering world-class customer service, we can make a 10% operating margin a sustainable reality."




SEE ALSO:
Passenger growth boosts BA profit
03 Feb 06 |  Business
BA to axe one-third of managers
30 Nov 05 |  Business
Gate dispute cost BA up to 45m
04 Nov 05 |  Business
BA boss rules out forced job cuts
04 Oct 05 |  Business
New boss as BA faces turbulence
02 Oct 05 |  Business
Fuel surcharge lifts BA revenues
05 Aug 05 |  Business


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