By Jackie Reddy
British Airways has revealed its ambitions to regain its reputation as one of the globe’s more prestigious carriers, London Loves Business reports.
Speaking at World Travel Market in London on Monday, Alex Cruz, BA’s chief executive and chairman, announced that it will be shelling out £4.5 ($5.9) billion on 72 new craft over the next five years. While it intends to purchase an undisclosed number of new Boeing 787-10s and Airbus A350s, the carrier has also said that it will be spending money on revamping its current fleet and is seeking to roll out what it already says is ‘the best Wi-Fi in the sky’ on its planes.
Cruz also said that he wants to fit out the carrier’s craft with some additional amenities, including at-seat power points.
But it seems that catering is also high on Cruz’s agenda for the airline; indeed, the carrier has reduced its meal offerings in recent years, but says that it now intends to reintroduce a second meal for long-haul economy passengers, who currently only receive a light snack.
“We will upgrade catering so that everyone has better snacks and, on longer flights, everyone has a full second meal,” he said, as quoted by the Independent.
Cruz hopes that these improvements will help Britain’s flag carrier to stand apart from low-cost rivals like Norwegian, Ryanair and EasyJet. “British Airways is facing a combination of competitive forces more challenging than at any point in our history. We face waves of new competition on all fronts. And we also face changing customer behavior as online price transparency has opened a world of almost unlimited choice,” he said.
“As a national flag carrier, we are not granted some special immunity from the way the industry has changed. Incumbency does not grant any privilege. We have no divine right to flourish, and we don’t ask for one…We must shape BA for the future, as a premium airline committed to customer choice and one that is a byword around the world for British know-how and excellence,” Cruz added.