Global Views
   Middle East & Africa
 Embassy News
 Arts & Living
 Travel & Hotel
 Medical Tourism New
 Letters to Editor
 Photo Gallery
 News Media Link
 TV Schedule Link
 News English
 Hospitals & Clinics
 Flea Market
 Moving & Packaging
 Religious Service
 Korean Classes
 Korean Weather
 Real Estate
 Home Stay
 Room Mate
 English Teaching
 Job Offered/Wanted
 Hotel Lounge
 Foreign Exchanges
 Korean Stock
 Business Center
 PR & Ads
 Arts & Performances
 Restaurants & Bars
 Tour & Travel
 Shopping Guide
 Foreign Missions
 Community Groups
 Foreign Workers
 Useful Services
 ST Banner Exchange
Continuing Turbulence at British Airways
Strike Action by Cabin Crew Looms Yet Again
By Shane Clarke
London Correspondent
Continuing turbulence at British Airways

The phrase, “Here we go again,” comes to mind. Haven’t we been here before? British Airways cabin crew are threatening strike action again over cost-cutting measures at the beleaguered airline. Their union, Unite, is in talks with British Airways management under the auspices of the TUC. The deadline for reaching an agreement is 5 pm today (Tuesday 9th March), but the management have asked for an extra 24 hours.

The bottom line is that British Airways is an airline in freefall, and it won’t be long before people start reaching for the parachutes. Needless to say, there won’t be enough for everyone.

This latest row ignited over proposed pay-cuts for cabin crew in an attempt to save £60 million. Unite have made an offer of 2.6%, which they say will more than meet the necessary cost-cutting target. However, airline management are not entirely convinced, so negotiations are continuing.

Walter Raleigh once said, “An employer generally gets the employees he deserves.” I understand my local zoo is closing down and the monkeys are going to be looking for new jobs soon.

It confounds and distresses me that this once great airline now finds itself in this situation. Can this really be the proud flag carrier that used to be the envy of other carriers around the world? Is this really the company whose big shiny planes I used to look at pictures of when I was a child and dream of the day when I would fly on one of them?

So how did we get to this situation? What is it that has led our national airline into this nosedive?

You can blame the credit crunch, or competition, perhaps even terrorism, but as far as I’m concerned the problem lies squarely at the feet of a succession of managers that are about as much use as a one-legged man in a penalty shoot out. One of the previous management’s most ridiculous decisions was to give up being the national flag carrier in favour of various meaningless daubing on the tails of their fleet. They gave up being the national flag carrier! Did no one within that organisation speak up and say, “Oi, stupid! We are British Airways, we’re Britain’s national airline; it’s flag carrier. The clue’s in the name.”

Virgin Atlantic immediately stepped in and took on the mantle of flag carrier. From a marketing standpoint, this is a major coup.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, BA then decided to focus their efforts on business class travellers, at the expense of economy class. This essentially handed those economy customers on a plate to Virgin Atlantic, who were more than happy to step forward with open arms and say, “Come to us; we’ll take good care of you.” Ironically, BA used to run television adverts with a song that went, “We’ll take good care of you. Fly the flag. Fly the flag.” So, if Virgin want to save a bit of money on advertising they can buy the rights to that song, because it’s more applicable to them nowadays.

Okay, so as if that lot wasn’t bad enough, they then decided to pursue what can only be called “questionable practices”. These resulted in fines somewhere in the region of £400 million. And the funny part...they got Virgin Atlantic involved in their last scam and then Virgin blew the whistle on them.

It kind of makes you wonder if the BA management actually work for Virgin and that Willie Walsh, the head of BA, is actually Richard Branson in disguise. That could certainly explain why BA seem to be handing the British airline industry to them on a plate.

Anyway, at the end of the day, British Airways need to save £60 million. I think I can help them there: Remember those monkeys I mentioned earlier? Put them in charge – they can’t do a worse job than the current management, and they will certainly be a lot cheaper. There’ll be no six-figure salaries with them in charge. I’m sure BA could secure their services with an offer of fresh fruit every day and a tyre to swing on.

Related Articles
    Derek -- Simply Brilliant
    Dara O’Briain -- The Gentleman Comic
    Fear of Flying: My Morbid View of Airline ...
    The Growth of Medical Tourism in the UK
    Funny Boy
    Anger as Carlos Tevez Appears to Refuse to Play
    Shadow Chancellor Outlines Five-Point Plan for ...
    Broken Hearted: What Do You Say?
    President Obama Weighs-in to the Japanese ...
    The Beautiful Game: Memories of When My Team ...
    Shake It, Baby!
    Student Protestors Riot in London
    The Amityville Horror
    The Blitz
    British, US Soldiers to Do Marathon Run for ...
    Horse-trading with People’s Lives
    Is It the Future or Just a Fad?
    The Price of Failure
    You Know He Was British, Don’t You?
    The Drug Problem in United Kingdom
    Capitalism: How Free Does It Really Make Us?
    Rogue Afghan Soldier Kills 3 British Soldiers
    Blair’s Guards’ Expenses under Scrutiny
    Britain’s Hidden Disaster
    Referendum on Electoral Reform to be Announced
    The Mediterranean Diet
    Shame! England, My England!
    To Hell in a Handcart
    It’s Not Easy Being an England Fan
    Cumbrian Gunman Kills 12
    Rooney Is Greatest Player World Has Ever Seen
    Video Games: PC Vs. PS
    More Injury Woes for England
    England Team Banned from Using Twitter during ...
    Gareth Barry in Race to Prove Fitness
    Forgotten Couple Still in Hands of Somali ...
    England 3 – 1 Mexico
    England Captain, Ferdinand, Expresses Concern ...
    President Obama Looking for Spending Cuts
    British Airways Obtains an Injunction to ...
    Hedgehogs and Plumbers
    Britain Has a Hung Parliament
    Is It Being Destroyed by Too Much Money?
    Video Games: A Community Divided
    Video Games: They’ve Come a Long Way
    Gordon Brown Forced to Apologise over ...
    Why British Monarchy Is the Best in World
    How Many Wives Did Henry VIII Have?
    Annual Leave? I’d Rather Stay, If That"s All ...
    Plea of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s War Crime Victim
    The Family Way — Divorce
    UK Flights Grounded by Volcanic Ash
    Deadly Italian Train Crash Kills 6
    The Rise of Nationalism in Britain
    When America Sneezes the World Gets a Cold
    Oil Companies Continue to Rape Planet for ...
    Snow in Spring Brings Chaos to Parts of the UK
    Bureaucracy Strikes Again
    Darling Targets Election Victory with Safe ...
    The Child Bride Problem Is Still Alive and Well
    Terrified Emergency Call of a Woman Whose Car ...
    Achilles Tendon Injury Ends World Cup Dream
    CSR – Genuine Principle or Marketing ...
    Teenager's Murder Highlights Dangers of ...
    UK Election Juggernaut Begins to Roll
    War Families Anger at MoD Bonuses
    Cameron under Pressure over Lisbon Treaty
    Resignations Follow the Sacking of ...
    Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
    Tony Blair Ready to Stand for EU Presidency ...
    Debates Continue as Queen Weighs in to Row ...
    Protests Greet Nick Griffin’s Appearance on ...
    21 Environment Protesters Arrested in England
    The British Government Passes the Buck Again
    Everything Must Go As British Government Sells ...
    Boyzone Star Stephen Gately Dies
    Is David Cameron Even Capable of Honest ...
    The Tragedy of "Heaven's" Child Brides
    Elite – The UK’s Higher Education System
    Why Can’t I Hate Barack Obama?
    The UNCRC – The Convention That Dare Not ...
    The Tragedy of Child Brides

Shane Clarke serves as London Correspondent for The Seoul Times. He has been involved in humanitarian work for numerous years. He’s also a freelance management consultant. Having completed an honors degree in Law at Wolverhampton University, he then moved on to an MBA at Warwick Business School. He’s heavily involved in the fight against international parental child abduction to Japan.






The Seoul Times, Shinheung-ro 36ga-gil 24-4, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea 04337 (ZC)
Office: 82-10-6606-6188
Copyrights 2000 The Seoul Times Company  ST Banner Exchange