LONDON – The Chairman and CEO of British Airways (BA), Alex Cruz will appear before the UK Government’s Transport Select Committee.
The Transport Committee session will commence on September 16 and will provide an update on the challenges faced by the airline.
One area of focus will be the staffing plans, which has come into the spotlight over the last few months.
Criticism by the committee had come into place following the report from June 2020. It condemned the behavior of the airline over job cuts.
Previous Appearances, Leadership Changes
Back in May, the International Airlines Group (IAG) boss Willie Walsh appeared before the same committee.
In this session, he forecasted pre-COVID demand levels would not return until 2024.
Mr. Walsh retired back on June 30, with Iberia CEO Luis Gallego taking his place. So now, it will be in the committee’s interest to hear from the likes of Cruz.
British Airways-BALPA Agreement
The cuts had also begun to take place even with the Job Retention Scheme in place. This is due to expire in October 2020, as announced by the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Initial proposals by BA consisted of 19,000 employees threatened with potential dismissal notices.
Recent developments since then has seen the likes of the British Air Lines Pilots Association (BALPA) accepting a pay deal.
This ultimately resulted in wages being slashed, but less jobs lost as a result.
Whilst 270 jobs have been cut, it could have been a lot more, which was very much stressed by BALPA.
Other Motions by British Airways
In an effort to cut costs, the airline has also announced a few more things.
The first was the plan to keep most of its headquarters near London Heathrow (LHR) empty.
The airline has also only just returned to London Gatwick (LGW) after a considerable hiatus.
This initially sparked rumors about a complete withdrawal from the airport, but BA later returned its services.
British Airways Boeing 747 Retirement
The biggest move so far from the airline was the announcement regarding the withdrawal of its 31 Boeing 747-400s from the fleet.
BA stated that those aircraft are likely “to have flown their last scheduled commercial service,” offering quite an abrupt end to the program.
It remains clear that Alex Cruz’s session with the committee will be the most important, especially with the public scandal behind the job cuts.
Featured image: Alex Crux (Chairman and CEO) during a special flight on a 787-9 to announce new Club World products, the opening of First Wing, London Gatwick. Photo: Nick Morrish/British Airways