BA chief overhauls management after staff shortages and flight cancellations

The head of British Airways has revealed a refurbishment of key management roles at the airline, as it has struggled to deal with a plethora of disruptions and cancellations to flights that have hampered its recovery from the plague.

The struggling airline has entrusted new executives in charge of its operations, technology and customer services, according to two people familiar with the matter, parts of the business that were swept away this year when BA struggled to cope with the rapid return of passengers.

BA CEO Sean Doyle said last week that the company has forced Cancel 10% of its flight schedules between March and October – equivalent to 8,000 round trips – due to a shortage of manpower that bothers the travel industry.

EasyJet is also struggling with staff shortages and has taken out the back row of seats on some of its planes, allowing it to fly with three cabin crews instead of four.

But BA has faced its unique system of problems amid high-profile IT failures and customer complaints on other operational issues, most notably waiting long hours to switch to its phone lines.

The changes in leadership come 18 months into Doyle’s tenure at BA and represent his clearest response to date. The crisis Swallows the airline.

Anthony Alcock, the airline’s chief information and digital director, is leaving the company and will be replaced by Dirk John, a former employee of McKinsey, Latam Airlines and Lufthansa.

John, who joins as Chief Digital and Transformation Manager, will be given the task of repairing BA’s most diseased and complex IT systems.

Despite significant investment by Anglo-Spanish parent company IAG, the airline’s IT systems are prone to failures that could severely disrupt flight schedules.

Doyle, who has pledged to restore the airline’s reputation among customers, has also appointed Callum Leming as chief customer officer, replacing Tom Stevens who is leaving the airline.

In addition, the position of VP of Operations has been split in two, with the current Jason Mahoney moving to the position of VP of Technical and a new unmarked external employee taking responsibility for day-to-day operations.

BA approved the changes and said the new management roles come as it navigates a “most challenging period” after the epidemic.

“Everyone at British Airways is completely focused on three priorities: our customers, supporting the largest recruitment campaign in our history and increasing our operational resilience,” the supplier said.

Speaking last week after IAG’s first quarter results were overshadowed by the problems facing his airline, Doyle said he was “very aware” of the problems. “We’re fixing it,” he said.

He added that “for the most part” the problems facing BA were all industrial, including a long wait for staff to go through government review processes to recruit new employees and less space at Heathrow Airport, which closed one of its terminals by June.

IAG CEO Luis Galgo, who appointed Doyle head of BA in October 2020, said he had full confidence that the BA veteran would be able to solve the problems at the airline.

BA chief overhauls management after staff shortages and flight cancellations Source link BA chief overhauls management after staff shortages and flight cancellations

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