Burns returns to BA fold as head of corp comms

British Airways has appointed Iain Burns as head of corporate

communications, effectively bringing back the top PR post vacated by

Simon Walker's move to Buckingham Palace last year (PRWeek, 14 July

2000).



Burns was previously head of BA's newsdesk for three years but left a

year ago to join Bell Pottinger Communications as a consultant. At Bell

Pottinger he headed the European and North American account for

Dubai-based airline Emirates.



One of Burns' key tasks will be to oversee BA's PR drive to restore

confidence in Concorde, which was grounded following the Air France

Concorde crash last year.



The supersonic service could be reintroduced as early as next month

after this week being given the official green light to fly by the

French and British air regulation authorities.



The role of head of corporate communications was created following a

reshuffle carried out by marketing and communications director Martin

George earlier this year (PRWeek, 13 April).



The PR team's internal and external divisions were scrapped following

the review, replaced with five sectors: newsdesk, internal

communications, commercial (sales and consumer PR) and central

departments (finance, government and legal affairs).



At the same time, acting communications head Nick Claydon left to join

Brunswick and Michael Blunt, head of alliance communications and special

projects, was promoted to head PR at BA's global airline alliance,

oneworld.



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