BA installs Coops in comms hot-seat as Burns resigns

British Airways head of communications has resigned amid the ongoing Office of Fair Trading investigation into long-haul passenger fuel surcharges.

Iain Burns has been replaced by former Abbey National comms director Thomas Coops, who is now working as interim head of corporate and media relations.

Coops, who is retained on a six-month contract, does not yet know whether the role will evolve into a full-time position.

He heads a team of 13 offering advice to the ‘board and leadership team', including the airline's chief executive Willie Walsh.

BA commercial director Martin George has also resigned as part of the same investigation, which also involves the US Department of Justice.

Burns and George were put on ‘leave of absence' on 22 June as the investigation into BA and other airlines got underway.  

Coops left Abbey at the start of this year following its acquisition by Spanish bank Grupo Santander in 2005 (PRWeek, 20 Jan 2006). He was made redundant as the bank cut its 75-strong comms team by half.

Since then Coops has been advising on a number of small City projects.  

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