• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Cruz announces £4.5bn investment to improve ‘British Airways customer experience

Cruz announces £4.5bn investment to improve ‘British Airways customer experience

British Airways’ chief executive Alex Cruz has pledged that the airline’s new £4.5bn investment programme would improve the flying experience for all customers.

Reaffirming British Airways as a premium airline committed to customer choice, he outlined the unprecedented competitive pressure the company faced and voiced his determination to create a stronger national carrier to benefit customers and remain at the forefront of world aviation.

READ ALSO: British Airways pilots accept 20% pay cut amid the pandemic impact

Speaking at the World Travel Market in London, Cruz said his strategy at British Airways was designed to enable increased investment for customers and the wider availability of affordable fares.

He announced that the £4.5bn investment over the next five years would include: 72 new aircraft, including four new types for the airline: the Airbus A350, the Boeing 787-10 and the neo (new engine option) variant of the Airbus A320 and 321; new interiors for 128 aircraft in the existing fleet; at-seat power for customers in all cabins; upgraded catering for economy customers on long-haul; and roll-out of fast wifi in all cabins on short-haul and long-haul.

Stressing his desire to shape a “British Airways for everyone”, he said the airline would continue to offer more low fares, such as the current £30 one-way offer on a range of routes, so it could take on all types of airline competitor. And it would keep extending its route network to destinations customers wanted.

READ ALSO: British Airways acquires 72 aircraft to boost operations in Africa

“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,” he said.

To coincide with the speech, the airline announced a new route for next summer from Heathrow to Figari in Corsica. British Airways will be flying 264 routes next summer – a rise of 17 per cent in two years.

He also highlighted £200m of additional investment in Club World cabins, following a £400 million injection unveiled last year. He described customer feedback on recent improvements in catering and bedding as “fantastic” and identified New York JFK, Rome and Aberdeen for major lounge refurbishments in 2018.

Cruz told his audience that British Airways was facing “a combination of competitive forces more challenging than at any point in our history” with the growth of low-cost long haul airlines, the continuing expansion of low-cost short-haul, the premium offerings of the Gulf carriers and the financial revitalisation of US transatlantic operators.