Travel News > February 2010 > British Airways to dump luxury flights

British Airways to dump luxury flights


British Airways has hinted that it might get rid of business-class seats on short-haul flights out of Gatwick, which are popular with travellers who want to start their holidays in style.

The airline's Australian partner Qantas is also believed to be considering stripping out most of its first-class seats on flights to and from the UK, which would increase the number of economy seats by up to a fifth.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh admitted the airline has seen a drop in the number of passengers paying for business-class, largely because companies have been forced to slash their travel budgets and send executives in economy-class or on budget airlines instead.

British Airways has promised to keep business-class on flights out of Heathrow, so passengers who want an extra bit of luxury will have to fly out of London's busiest airport instead if BA does decide to get rid of the premium cabin on flights from Gatwick.

BA is being forced to review its service levels and product due to continued heavy financial losses. Last week it announced it had slipped a further £50m into the red during the last three months of 2009, though this was an improvement on the same period of 2008 when it lost £122m.

Meanwhile the airline's cabin crew are taking legal action to try to prevent BA from reducing the number of flight attendants on long-haul flights, a move that the airline's management claims will save it millions of pounds a year in staffing costs.

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