British Airways unveils new multi-billion investment plan to become 'airline of choice for everyone
has announced a multi-billion pound investment in its aircraft to become "the airline of choice for everyone".
Chief executive Alex Cruz declared that BA is "taking on the competition" in an aviation market that is "more competitive than it has ever been". He said the £4.5 billion investment will "improve the experience of customers in all cabins".
The five-year programme includes:
- Seventy-two new aircraft
- New interiors for 128 aircraft in the existing fleet
- At-seat power supplies for passengers in all cabins
- Upgraded catering for long-haul economy customers
- Fast wi-fi rolled out in all cabins
Speaking at the World Travel Market trade show in east London, Mr Cruz accepted that flag carriers "have no divine right to flourish" and pledged to "fight for every customer".
He said: "We want to be the airline of choice for everyone. Every customer matters - short haul or long haul; economy or premium. So we must have an offer that is attractive to everyone."
Telling the audience that "we face waves of new competition on all fronts", he noted that budget carriers such as easyJet
are now "giants" while low-cost long-haul is "becoming a more resilient model than many people anticipated".
Aviation consultant John Strickland said BA's investment shows it is aware it needs to improve its high-end offering while also keeping prices competitive.
He told the Press Association: "They know they have to make investments because the premium customers are really important to them.
"I'm sure they recognise they've fallen behind in recent years, whether it's to the Gulf carriers or US carriers."It shows that they have fallen behind in the premium segment. They have to get back to the top of the league position.
"But at the same time the market has evolved dramatically."Low cost and low fare is the dominating factor for the majority of passengers."