BA/Iberia…Time to split?Back to Forum
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I think on the basis that the Basque Country would prefer independence then we know the answer!
IB/IAG appears desperate to buy-out Vueling and kill-off/control the regional/domestic competition whatever the price….
Air transport in the Cataluña region has been handed over to Vueling. Iberia , and everybody else for that matter has pulled out so it is a monopoly for Vueling. The previous directors of that company are now pushing Voltea, successfully.
To my knowledge the Basque government has tried twice to set up a local airline and failed. They are now more concerned in finishing the Basque “Y” high speed train line from Hendaye (the French border) to the three Basque provincial capitals (San Sebastian, Bilbao and Vitoria). The construction stage has been announced today as to be finished in 2016 (before fitting out).
Then the standard gauge rail lines enter Spain. The next stage is to connect Vitoria to Burgos and Valladolid so that it can then reach Madrid. Inexplicably this connection has not even got off the drawing board.
The Basque Country needs the connection because it is heavily dependent on its exports so needs the connection to Castille.
Very happy to say that AF/KLM shares had almost tripled in value since summer 2012.
Mine in value are 228% more.The range is E 3.02 – E 8.95 for the year.
Admittedly the main LH, BA, AF/KLM groups are all going through the same re-structuring, and all the difficulties associated with that. Most of the strategies will take a few years to see through whether successful or not. Those Airlines that are free from having put in these structures and now trying to rid themselves of them, have a great
dis-advantage over those who Managed in a very different way. Mostly these Airlines are not in Europe, and run at great profit. They are not measured by a share price, but by reputation and standards of travel. (Emirates, Etihad, Singapore, Thai…)
The Share Price is not the only or sole method by taking the perception of an airline, merely a paper value. The reputation amongst travellers is gained more by what they experience when travelling, or see and hear in the news, worldwide.
I hear / see no negatives about KLM, though AF is problematic in attitude.
BA has a long history of conflict with its employees, and it seems not to ever abate!
@ MarcusUK – 29/03/2013 10:06 GMT
Regarding your last comment “I hear / see no negatives about KLM, though AF is problematic in attitude. BA has a long history of conflict with its employees, and it seems not to ever abate!”.
This latter point owes itself as much as anything to a near total obsession on the part of certain individuals with BA or – more precisely – with the company’s failings. It is interesting to observe how different is the treatment awarded to their competitors with (for example) the current industrial turmoil at LH largely glossed over and ignored. Interestingly, when CAPA posted an item this week stating that LH needs to strip some 30% off its cost base to remain competitive, this passed entirely without comment on BT. I can imagine the howls of indignation that would be directed at WW (of whom I am not exactly the world’s leading admirer…) should he have allowed BA’s costs to get so far out of kilter with its revenues. The demands for his resignation and comments about the ineptitude of BA management would be legion.
In explaining this, I recall a Bozell-Gallup World Quality survey conducted at the turn of the millennium (I am unaware that they have updated the survey since then) which looked at national stereotypes and self-perceptions across much of the developed/ing world. Interestingly, the only country which took a more negative view of the quality of its own products than the UK was Taiwan… Some things have very clearly not budged if the regular postings on BT and the constant slagging-off of BA is anything to go by. Sadly the shoulder chip tendency to denigrate almost anything and everything British/Made in the UK is alive and well in this country… It makes me wonder on occasions whether many of the critics actually want this country to have any kind of economic prosperity or whether they would prefer the certainty of mass unemployment after having kicked the UK economy to death.
My comments are made from my own personal experiences of BA, and the general perception of them overseas compared to other Airlines.
I also made fair comments on LH with their cuts, in a different posting, and AF that have quite a different approach to KLM, gaining quite different reactions.
It was further balanced with re-structuring of most European Airlines, many whom have either gone, merged, or in desperate straits, compared to Far Eastern and Middle East / Emirate based Airlines.
Equally, it seems some on here remain unable to take a comment about anything that criticises BA, and cannot perceiove any other Airline but them.
Virgin is just as much the British Airline as BA, but equally for those not London Centric or have open minds, in the regions airlines like KLM and Emirates are taking more and more business from the UK. The UK Airlines have chosen not to serve these regions.
One colleague in the North of the UK, recently commented that Emirates was their Long haul Airline as it bothered to serve long haul. Further, had the standards that BA could not reach along with the costs. He also felt it was far less stressful to take KLM over to Schiphol and fly worldwide with them.
Being anti-UK is not the issue, it is where and how the Airlines serve in the whole of the country, and the prices and standards they offer. If the Government had a tan strategy at all for the UK, then business would not be leaving in such droves.
I have flown over 55 Airlines, and i base my views on this forum, on those experiences over 20 years. I am un-concerned that some get hot headed and stress themselves out, but perhaps this takes us back into the conduct issues on the other thread.
A balanced, open minded view in Business, on travel, is valuable here on BT, which in some cases lacks.
“Being anti-UK is not the issue, it is where and how the Airlines serve in the whole of the country, and the prices and standards they offer.”
This is axiomatic to the debate, IMHO.
Unless based in the South East UK, BA is often not as convenient as other carriers for long haul travel. LHR is a busy terminal and the holding is inconvenient, it also lacks a really good rail connection.
Also, sadly, in my documented experience on here (and that of others, e.g. AOTG recently), the airline often charges high prices and then does not deliver in line with that.
But criticising BA is not being anti UK, it is owned by a Spanish holding company, after all.
What about easyJet? A good airline these days and one that we Brits can be proud of.
Fully agree with FDOS + Marcus, and although am seldom in agreement with BBC’s S Flanders view, from a broader economic perspective, the point is more starkly echoed here.
BA’s strategy certainly appears to perpetuate this, especially when one also factors in WW’s duplicitous statements and contrary actions wrt slots/routes to China.
If BA doesn’t find it economically worthwhile to provide a full service outside London, then am happy to support airlines which do encourage UK regional development, regardless of their nationality.
There is also an issue of cultural style of management in question here.
In The Far East , it is far less acceptable to question your superiors, than it would be in the UK. You see this in the order of hotels, and in Airlines such as Thai Airways, where they have a level of person, (eg a Manager at level 24).
It would be completely unacceptable for public behaviour that exposes and damages the reputation of the Airline, and is closely guarded, as with Singapore Airlines.
In good old Australia, you can expect to be challenged and confronted and have fiery debates. Similar moves have gone on there with Qantas, a similar figure to WW. Confrontations have been public, reputation of the Airline severely damaged, and standards slipped. They now fail to be able to stand on their own right and partner up with Emirates Airline. having fallen out with BA themselves.
In The Middle East courtesy and manners get more done, and conflict would not be acceptable in Airline Management. Perhaps Emirates Airlines has this advantage that the power base is centred, resources are abundant, and what you have to work with, is simply new and the best. That leads to a more relaxed management approach and one of calm clear strategy, certainly internally dealing with its staff.
And with KLM, their is a Dutch inherent normality in discussion, challenge and making your view known, challenging. But conflict is always avoided, and as such the KLM group achieves things in a very different team based, democratic way. Staff within KLM would not take any action that could damage an employer, they see as “being part of the family”. To them that would be clearly a self harm
I take these points from friends i know who were part of the Senior team at BA, but left a few years ago due to the attitudes at the top level they felt was damaging the Airline. Equally i know staff at KLM, and the Chief engineer of ground services at Schiphol, and the way they work.
I also know PR people for Thai and Singapore and what their brief is, and how it is given.
Autocratic and democratic approaches each have their place in many different work roles, let alone the Airline Industry. As a Director in one of the Professions, and a different Organisation Board member, and Chairman, autocratic and conflict raising Management styles, rarely give the public outside, or your customer base, a favourable impression. Losing the confidence of your staff team is fatal.
In any Senior managerial role, if your staff went out on strike you would be seen as a failure, and your style having failed. At Board level, this would not be a sign of success.
At a public level, it is just seen as badly run, unreliable and, a Company you do not want to use or pay for.
That is the broader view…
“In any Senior managerial role, if your staff went out on strike you would be seen as a failure,”
So as Air France, Lufthansa, SAS, Finnair, Iberia, TAP, Virgin Atlantic, and many others have all faced industrial action over the past few years (or come very close to it) does that mean that all of the management of these airlines have failed? Or that restructuring legacy airlines to compete in the modern world is no easy task?
Anthony Dunn is right. It is curious that one airline and one CEO is always singled out for a relentless barrage of criticism when all legacy carriers have faced similar challenges restructuring to compete against the new age airlines.
And in the case of BA, what some simply cannot bring themselves to accept is that a huge amount of structural change was achieved without confrontation with the unions and it sill remains that only workgroup was the exception.
Just what is the real truth about the anti-BA agenda on this forum?
I do believe that the merger between the two carriers wasn’t planned properly. The loss accumulated throughout these past months has been insanely big. I do realize that the merge was meant to be at some point since it has been planned for a while but I wonder if they took into consideration factors such as:
1) Fleet: phase out older aircrafts reduce costs
2) Routes: eliminate all those routes that are not profittable to both airlines or reduce frequencies or better yet let one carrier handle certain routes and accomodate schedules in order to catch easy connections.
3) Personnel: the worst part, reduce number of employee.
I believe that a split would benefit both airlines: have their financial situation revised and then propose again a merge.
“Just what is the real truth about the anti-BA agenda on this forum?”
Well the first thing is that the majority of the posters seem to be Brits or UK based, so there is a natural focus on the largest carrier in the country.
Secondly, IMHO, the presence of a BA evangelist, who sees things only those rose tinted spectacles is a major factor in generating negative comment about the airline.
His relentless promotion irritates people and creates pushback.
Just one example
” VintageKrug – 28/03/2013 10:10 GMT
….and now, five years on from its first week of operation, it’s fair to say that T5 is functioning excellently, while BAA/HAL continue to create problems with their substandard security channels.
At least there are more of them, but heaven help us once the recession ends, A380s come online and demand increases. I predict five years from now, the big story at T5 will be one of overcrowding.”
This prompted pushback from KeaneJohn, who is the most balanced of posters and who has published a chain of positive reviews of BA on trip reports
” KeaneJohn – 28/03/2013 21:42 GMT
I don’t think its fair to say that T5 is functioning excellently.
Not enough tugs for push back, not enough de-icers when for the UK springtime, and when you have been de-iced, theres not enough tugs so you have to wait to push back again.
Of course, Terminal 5 was supposed to house all BA flights, yet there is the ludicrous operation at T3. I have excluded T1 because the bmi acquisition wasn’t thought of 5 years ago.
Lounges turning eligible passengers away because they can’t follow direction and theres too many staff to brief as now its a free for all.
T5 is still a far from perfect experience.”
No anti BA agenda there, just the truth.
@ FormerlyDoS – 29/03/2013 16:09 GMT
“But criticising BA is not being anti UK, it is owned by a Spanish holding company, after all”.
I think that you are knowingly and deliberately being tendentious: if IAG were an entirely Spanish company, can you explain the “Go Home British Pirates!” placards carried by striking IB staff? It’s clearly not their sentiment. Nor is the fact that IAG is LSE listed. It is a moot point for how much longer IAG will be Spanish registered but BA is emphatically still registered as a UK company at Companies House.
In the meantime, to quote from MarcusUK – 29/03/2013 17:02 GMT
“In any Senior managerial role, if your staff went out on strike you would be seen as a failure, and your style having failed. At Board level, this would not be a sign of success.
At a public level, it is just seen as badly run, unreliable and, a Company you do not want to use or pay for”.
In the interests of consistency and for the avoidance of double standards, then this comment has emphatically to be directed at the German CEO and the all-German board of the German national carrier Lufthansa. But you and, as far as I can see, no few others on this forum, fail completely to draw the same moral. Can you explain why this is? Just why is it that you are relentless in your scathing criticism of WW but not a peep about Dr Christoph Franz?