What the papers say: BA back in ring over flights cull

British Airways’s announcement that it was cancelling 1,000 flights was not a repeat performance of its PR nightmare in August when thousands of passengers were stranded at Heathrow.

BA’s rationale – the need to improve operational performance – was widely reported and headlines were broadly factual and occasionally sympathetic: ‘BA cancels flights to get on track’ (The Guardian, 16 September).

But BA’s corporate reputation was attacked. Despite assurances that the cancelled flights were not due to staff shortages, the TGWU’s view that management had cut staff levels too much – ‘through the bone and into the marrow of the operation’ (The Times, 15 September) – persisted in reports.

References to a loss of confidence were rife, and eyebrows were raised over BA’s leadership and strategy amid predictions that senior heads would roll. ‘Eddington’s BA rescue stalls’ said The Sunday Times (19 September), signalling that ‘the world’s favourite airline’, far from flying high, seems grounded on the tarmac.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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