New BA chief plans job cuts across the business

Willie Walsh, the new chief executive of British Airways, is reportedly planning a sweeping programme of job cuts across the airline’s operations.

Walsh, former head of the Irish state airline Aer Lingus, is set to implement reductions as part of BA’s move to the new Terminal Five in 2008.

Groups that are to be targeted include 1,000 call centre operatives, 2,000 check-in staff and BA’s pool of bus drivers, numbering in the hundreds, who ferry pilots and cabin crew around the airport, according to the Observer.

In addition, the first in line for cuts will be BA’s 2,500 baggage handlers. A reduction of between 10% and 15% is expected.

Call centre numbers are expected to fall significantly as BA presses ahead with internet bookings, while check-in staff will be cut thanks to greater automation.

The moves will cause antagonism with unions, which are preparing to negotiate hard over any change to working conditions in Terminal Five.

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