Airlines: ‘Demand is 80% higher than expected’, and BA goes to war with staff

‘Demand is growing fast’

Personally, I’m not in the least bit surprised. After weeks of being cooped up indoors across most of Europe, during what turned into one of the most remarkable spring weather periods in living memory, people want to go places.

Eurowings saw an 80% rise in demand in one week, especially for flights to Southern Europe, Malaga, and Ibiza in Spain being on top of the list. So much so that they are looking at bringing another 20 aircraft out of storage sooner than expected.

Likewise, Lufthansa, KLM and AirFrance have all seen far higher booking levels than was expected. Even so, Lufthansa is looking at laying off 22,000 staff in total.

Emirates yesterday released a wave of re-launched routes, mostly A380 flights, including a daily flight to my local airport at BHX from August 2nd, increasing to 2 daily in September. At the same time they were making another wave of redundancies, as more staff were let go.

Turkish Airlines also ramped up its operating schedule, restoring services to many German services for the summer months. JAL also ramped up schedules for its international routes, from SFO to Chicago, Bangkok and London.

Only today AirFrance issued 39 relaunched routes to global destinations starting in August.

Austrian, Icelandair, and Air Canada, also increased their offering from June through to August, and more and more are beginning to come out of their long hibernation. AC topped the list with the re-launch of over 60 international routes through August-September.

British Airways is making an enemy out of its staff, and upsetting its customers

British Airways is making no bones about how it intends on treating its staff: very badly.

The company has always considered its staff as some sort of enemy within, asking for more money and better conditions like some nagging child after sweets at a supermarket checkout.

This attitude has prevailed for years, aggravated by senior managers attitudes.

The company seems to be on a deliberate course to seize the opportunity to humiliate, and eradicate as many staff as it can that it sees as clinging to old ways. It wants to fire basically everyone, and re-hire them on contracts that give them around 60% of their current pay and vastly poorer terms and conditions that utterly favour the management and not the staff in any way.

The policy seems to be that the staff and their unions are beggars that simply can’t be choosers in the current environment, and they should be treated as the low value commodity the airline clearly sees them as.

Nobody is exempt it seems, pilots, cabin crew, it doesn’t matter. There won’t be negotiations because the company sees itself as holding all the cards, and that enough will cave in to keep bread on the table and the mortgage paid, that the rest can just be let go and be damned.

The process is being seen as so mercenary and aggressive that there have even been calls for BA to be stripped of its preferential slots at Heathrow – which it was given by the government when privatised, and that it should be forced to account for itself by allowing more competition at Heathrow. Yet these are just words.

BA took huge amounts of tax payers money in salary support for staff – to help support their continued employment, despite bragging about how much cash it had on hand to ride out the crisis – and this is how it treats that gesture, almost as if the British People are suckers for letting them get away with it.

BA was careful to take no money in bailouts from the government so that it couldn’t be held hostage with conditions like those imposed on Lufthansa and AirFrance.

This is an airline that deliberately obfuscated and made it hard for people to claim their legally required refunds. This is an airline that spent years trying to rebuild its reputation after its last spat with staff, its catastrophic luggage issues and computer problems at T5 and then exposing customer data by the shed load, incurring substantial fines.

There was a time when I would only fly BA. I considered it almost my patriotic duty to do so. I wouldn’t get on a BA flight now unless it was the last and only option in dire circumstances. this type of corporate underhanded methodology is a disgrace.

British Airways is now just a name, a devalued brand, it no longer represents the British People, or their values. It should be banned from even carrying the flag.

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