British Airwayswill reduce its staffing levels by 3000 by March next year, it said today as it reported heavy losses in the first half of 2009. All areas of the business will see their staffing levels cut.
In its Interim Management Report for April 1 to September 30 British Airways (BA) said it was “making further manpower reductions of 3000 by March 2010 and permanent changes to the way we run our business”. A spokesperson for BA said the staffing cuts were global, not just in the UK, and were expected to be met through redundancies, natural wastage and some staff moving into part time roles. BA will have cut its headcount by 4,900 by March.
BA today reported a loss of £292 million for the first half of the year, for the same period in 2008 it made a profit of £52m. BA headlined its interim report “structural changes necessary to secure long term profitability” to underline its strategy. Chief executive of BA Willie Walsh told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 “All airlines are facing the same pressure. Operational changes at British Airways are absolutely necessary to improve the performance of the business.”
Talking of cuts already made to staffing levels and the number of flights it operates Walsh said in the report, “This demonstrates how well our costs have been managed in the first half and it’s imperative we continue to deliver on our plans to reduce costs further in the second half. With revenue likely to be £1 billion lower this year, we can’t stand still and further cost reduction is essential.”
As well as cuts BA has been investing and said it was seeing benefits. The troubled launch of Terminal 5 at Heathrow is now behind BA and airport operator BAA and BA said, “We continue to reap the benefits of Terminal 5 following our fist full summer in the terminal.”
The airline is also focusing on business travel customers and launched a service earlier this year from London City airport in the old docks to New York. The Airbus A318 offers travellers full access to the internet.
Last month BA CIO Paul Coby said his IT organisation was standardising all IT development using Lean and Agile methodologies. “WE need smart innovation and smart change leveraged by technology. Lean and Agile methods are becoming key enablers,” he said.