British Airways cuts service; won’t cancel aircraft orders

by Canadian Shipper

British Airways has announced major cuts in services, cutting 190 weekly flights, or 10 percent of its weekly flight schedule, including 36 flights to the United States.

The airline also announced plans earlier this week to cut 7,000 jobs and withdraw some planes.

The carrier’s 12 directors, including chief executive Rod Eddington, later announced that they would take a 15 percent pay cut to help the airline through “difficult times,” reports the Associated Press.

Six hundred senior managers have also been asked to have their salaries reduced by 10 percent. The airline said the pay reductions would save it a total of 2 million pounds (US$2.9 million) in the current financial year.

Trans-Atlantic travel accounts for 38 percent of the airline’s capacity and the bulk of its profits, so British Airways, Europe’s largest carrier, was considered particularly vulnerable to an expected drop in those routes

However, the airline says it is not cancelling any of its outstanding aircraft orders from Boeing Co and EADS unit Airbus despite a capacity decrease.

Boeing will be handing over one more 777 aircraft to BA next month, while Airbus has a contract to deliver 43 short-haul planes until 2005, he added.

A reduction of 10 aircraft from the long-haul fleet will be achieved initially by advancing the retirement of the Boeing 747-200 fleet from spring 2002 and then by withdrawing other wide-bodied aircraft.

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