Pilots call for change in British Airways leadership


Pilots call for change in British Airways leadership
The British Airline Pilot's Association (Balpa) has published an open letter calling for a change in the way British Airways is managed.

The pilots branded British Airways (BA) a "laughing stock" after problems related to the opening of Heathrow's new Terminal 5 continue, but the letter stopped short of calling for the sacking of chief executive Willie Walsh.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of Balpa, said: "We have quietly gone about our jobs since the Terminal 5 debacle, but pilots can no longer stay silent. It is their company's reputation that is on the line and their futures. BA management has taken its eye of the ball and it is time UK plc held them to account."

The open letter claimed: "Failings on the opening days of T5 [Terminal 5] are symptomatic of BA's loss of focus in delivering a sound operation. This airline can and should make Britain proud but a fundamental change of attitude is required from the very highest levels of BA management.

"Banks, institutional investors and analysts need to wake up to the fact that there is something very wrong right at the heart of this company that is making our once great brand a laughing stock."

In a statement in response BA said that it remained "absolutely committed to resolving the problems associated with the initial move into Terminal 5".

Terminal 5 has had a disastrous opening few weeks with tens of thousands of bags being left stranded at Heathrow airport and hundreds of flights being cancelled since it opened to the public on March 27th.

There was further disruption yesterday due to snowfall and BA has announced today that 32 short-haul flights will be cancelled due to a knock-on effect of the poor weather.

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