11 March 2008

The fight with BALPA turns ugly. BA Needs a new game plan.

Despite best efforts by both sides, the fight of BA’s new subsidiary OpenSkies has now turned ugly. BALPA has been looking for a fight. BA has been looking for ways to break the union’s stranglehold. To me the battle is being waged at a time that BA doesn’t need a fight. The airline is already slowing down and is highly susceptible to a number of factors that will cause its financial performance to degrade. Already the stock is down 50% and it is going to go down even further in my opinion. This should not be the case.

The missteps of the Walsh era are now coming back to haunt the management. Sir Rod left the airline in a good shape. But Walsh has done little other than to run the airline on autopilot. His tenure has been marked by several missteps including labor unrest, baggage snafus, Air France’s encroachment into LCY and the loss of 2 major franchise carriers, BMED and GB Airways. Now BA’s response to EU-US open skies is “OpenSkies” and the LCY-JFK one-stop lame flights. As a long time paying passenger with Gold Card Status – I believe that BA is just being less than smart and needs a new game plan.

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