Bits: Avios Group CEO replaced, BA Buy on Board – just fancy that …

News in brief:

Avios Group CEO replaced

Andrew Crawley was appointed as CEO of Avios Group earlier this week, replacing Gavin Halliday.

Andrew is starting his new role “with immediate effect” (he was previously head of IAG Cargo) whilst Gavin “is leaving IAG” having resigned on Friday.

Gavin Halliday was a friend of this site – we drive huge amounts of third-party partner revenue for Avios Group, after all – and we had various lunches over the last couple of years where we chewed the fat about developments in the industry.

I always felt that Gavin ‘got it’ in terms of how the programme had to work in order to thrive.  His problem was always how to broaden out the appeal of the scheme, both geographically and demographically, with BA being so tightly focused on London.  Revenue had stagnated but this was due to the BA changes in 2015 which reduced the number of Avios purchased by the airline, and the increase in flight redemption rates will clearly not have helped either.

The one thing we never really discussed was IT, which appears to be the biggest Avios Group issue.  The long delayed launch of Aer Lingus AerClub – which still has IT problems – seems to have delayed the plan to move Iberia Plus and British Airways Executive Club onto the same platform, and possibly the delay in launching Avios with Royal Air Maroc as well.

I wish Drew – who I haven’t met – well in his new role, and hope that Gavin has more luck than his predecessor, who left Avios to became of CEO of airline Monarch as it was on its spiral into near bankruptcy!

British Airways

British Airways Buy On Board – just fancy that ….

There will be a full report on the British Airways press event yesterday on Head for Points tomorrow.  It finished late yesterday and it takes time to put together a considered overview.

Meanwhile, with apologies to Private Eye, the following caught my eye whilst reading third-party reports of the event in my hotel here in Hong Kong:

Spot the difference:

“We have reached this point as a consequence of an increasing number of requests from our customers, “ Cruz said. “We have customer saying to us “Do not force me to eat just what you have – there is very little choice” … Today’s product launch is in reaction to customer response around choice and quality.”

BA CEO Alex Cruz speaking to Business Traveller, September 2016

Latest figures show only 2.5 per cent of flights now run out of fresh food and we are focusing on the few flights where we can now sell more. I think also crew and customers are starting to understand that not everyone can have their first choice, without creating huge amounts of waste. I flew with easyJet every week for seven years and don’t remember ever getting my first-choice food; I was always prepared to have a second option. It’s a mindset shift.”

BA CEO Alex Cruz speaking to James Brown, Customer Service Manager at Gatwick, in the March 2017 BA staff magazine

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  1. It was being ‘Rob’s mate’ that did for Gavin haha

    Drew is a nice guy but was too BA – the reason he was sent to IAGC was to have the BA beaten out of him. And he’s the guy who brought in the new On Business when he was Head of Commercial.

    Make of that what you will.

    • the real harry1 says:

      these FTSE100 cos can get pretty stupid with their politics

      still fed up I got bumped thanks to some idiot thinking I was a threat so put in a cost saving argument

      as it was, I got nearly a year to recruit my successor before I had to go (all very civilised, wealthy sector) and ended up offering him pretty much what I was paid, very good guy from GlaxoSK.

      so I got forcibly retired aged 36, life’s a complete butch

      • Even I managed to get to 40 ….. 🙂

        • LOL after spending two decades in training I’m only properly starting now and 40 is looming!

        • the real harry1 says:

          I worked pretty hard I those 10 years 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          well, OK, not the first 3 years – that was one big p-up, first with the Bank then with the other Co, which had a 2 year grad trainee scheme mostly in hotels on expenses back then

          not sure you would find a 2 year grad trainee scheme these days but it was good fun, they recruited about 75 of us that year so we used to party quite a bit

        • the real harry1 says:

          are you a medic, Alan?

        • LOL yep 😉 So sadly not on big City-style bucks unless I headed off to Australasia/North America!

        • the real harry1 says:

          my bro in law is in the same boat, oncologist, I guess he’s same age as you, also spent a year in Aus, FFS don’t tell me you’re married to Kate?!!!

        • Haha LOL nope – don’t worry I’m not your brother-in-law stalking you 😉

        • the real harry1 says:

          that’s good, not on best terms as she tried to cheat me out of money

          anyway – my relationship with bonnie Scotland – worked there 2 years out of Glasgie – great times – plus spent all my holidays there 8YO onwards

        • Ah, excellent – well hopefully you’ll make it back up soon. August always a good time to visit Edinburgh – points are excellent value at hotels thanks to the the Festival being on! Do let us Scots know if you’re up visiting 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t mind BoB if flights were actually cheap. There’s been a ridiculous increase in prices for European flights. What’s the point in flying BA in Europe when you could save money and spend it towards buying business class on long haul?

  3. Genghis says:

    OT Just had dinner with a BA source. BOB coming to Y long haul

  4. Interesting comment about IT- isn’t Avois IT wholly managed by the parent IAG group?

  5. RogerWIlco says:

    The best part is when you gt no choice at all – because catering was not loaded! BA’s reaction to the complaint? We’re sorry, bad luck. Compensation (for BAEC Silver)? Zilch, nada. At least on EZY you get your second choice.