The world’s 19th-favourite airline
British Airways’ profits may not fly high much longer
On top of shabby service, doubts are emerging over the flag carrier’s dominance of Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports
British airways (BA) hoped that 2019 would be a year of celebration. The airline that carries its kingdom’s flag traces its roots back 100 years to a flight between London and Paris which transported one paying passenger and freight that included clotted cream and several brace of grouse. But another date in its corporate history chimes more loudly. In 1924 the British government, reckoning that air connections might help hold together the empire, created Imperial Airways, another forerunner of BA. Before any of its planes took off, its pilots went on strike.
A two-day walkout by BA’s airmen in September 2019 put another dent in a reputation already under strain. As in the 1920s, pay and conditions were a gripe. But the pilots voiced a wider concern. As Brian Strutton of BALPA,
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