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Brace, Brace! The turbulent times of British Airways

British Airways has endured a rocky few years. Can a new CEO help re-route the troubled airline on a flight plan back to profitability?

Alex Cruz, the man who has captained British Airways through possibly the worst period in the company’s history, announced this week that he would be stepping down from his role as CEO. The news comes after a string of misfortunes on Cruz’s watch, none of which has been helped by the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite Cruz taking a one third pay-cut during the coronavirus pandemic, he told MPs earlier this month that the airline’s outgoings are still around £20 million per day. Cruz also criticised the government’s short-sighted refusal to allow coronavirus testing at airports, as well as its policy of releasing new travel restrictions each Thursday. “The weekly [quarantine] announcement is incredibly disruptive – primarily for our passengers,” he said. “If we could start [testing] tomorrow, it would help the British economy.”

Cruz had held the CEO title since 2016, having left a similar role at Spain’s second largest airline, Vueling, in 2015. Replacing him is Sean Doyle, former CEO of Aer Lingus. Now 49, Doyle has history with BA, having joined the company at 27 in various roles before being promoted to director of network, fleet and alliances. He moved into his role as chief executive of Aer Lingus as recently as January last year.

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