26 OCTOBER 2020
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Only appointed as Chief Executive of British Airways a week earlier Sean Doyle was the opening speaker at Airlines 2050 Conference last Monday (19 October)
A native of Cork, but a Londoner since first joining BA as a Financial Analyst in 1998, his words served as an introduction to a man charged with leading Britain’s flag carrier, perhaps for the next decade. He could not have arrived at a more worrying time.
Initially explaining British Airways crucial financial position (it lost £711m in the last quarter with the IAG results which came later in the week) he emphasised the situation regarding quarantine: “We need a fundamental re-think,” he said pre-empting a British Airways flight to Hong Kong the next day where some passengers will be Covick-19 checked before boarding.
“Introducing a rapid pre-departure testing regime could not be more important. I’m going to use the example of the US to help me explain this. The total loss in trade between the US and the UK is predicted to be £45.8bn, due to closed borders. I cannot stress more greatly that air connectivity between the UK and USA is fundamental for supporting economic growth and trade on both sides of the Atlantic. Pre-Covid British Airways flew to almost 30 destinations in the US. Now, it’s less than half that. We normally fly to New York up to 12 times a day – it’s now twice per day and with fewer than 200 passengers most days.”
He summed up the situation very clearly: “I realise that the title of this keynote address is ‘Beyond the Crisis’, but I need to be clear that there is a risk that as an industry we will not see beyond this crisis if we do not first address the issue of how we get people flying again. Everything else is for another day.”
Also see IAG results in this week's BTN.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Capt. Anthony Fildes, Dublin
Great to hear our new CX hitting the nail on the head immediately. Rapid government approved testing is essential to save the industry.
Sean Murphy, Glasgow
Mr Doyle has a chance of saving the airline. Letís give him our support. What a difference to Walsh. Fresh blood and all that.