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Being MD of BA / IAG is a bit like being England Football manager: We could all do better as we all know what to do.
The analogy is an interesting one, especially as some England managers have a reputation for not knowing their best team, playing people in unaccustomed positions, failing to motivate their team or organise them effectively.
Quite a bit of truth in that.
As to all the other factors about demanding customers, that’s just being in a competitive market – BA has made it’s choices of operating bases and setup and must live with the consequences.
As I wrote recently, analysis of the DXB route shows 22 direct daily services between DXB and the UK. BA has 3 of these, Royal Brunei 1 and Emirates the rest. Emirates are slaughtering BA on UK-ME routes by offering a superior value proposition.
This is significant, because Heathrow and Dubai are high volume hubs and are, in effect, direct competitors for transfer traffic. When some of your main assets can self position at 500mph, competition is a relatively broad brush.
Edtied to add: When the Economist (a serious and well researched journal) writes an article like this one, there is something going badly wrong. It isn’t wise to take a cost focus market position, when you have a relatively high cost base – of course, what do I know?