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British Airways cost-cutting literally comes to nothing ….. as the accounts show

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IAG, the parent company of British Airways, published its 2017 results on Friday.

The share price fell sharply (5.7%) after the numbers were released.

The most astonishing number is on page 14 – CASK exc fuel for BA.  CASK is ‘costs per available seat kilometre’.

As we know from various BA management pronouncements over the last 18 months, the airline is now 100% focused on cost reduction.  Every British Airways employee, every day, is permanently focused on cutting expenditure.

Vueling cut its CASK by 0.9%.  Aer Lingus cut CASK by an impressive 6.4%.  Iberia couldn’t control costs so well and its CASK went up by 4.8%.

And British Airways?  CASK rose by a whopping 5.4%.  Remember that this excludes fuel, which the airline cannot control.  Heaven knows what would have happened if all BA employees were not 100% focused on cost cutting …..

It is also worth pointing out something interesting on Slide 27.  BA’s ‘Plan4’, which is the catch-all phrase for the various customer-facing changes being made, is listed as a key cost reduction activity.  Not, note, as an ‘investment’.  Whilst the company may be claiming that it is ‘investing’ £400m / £600m or whatever the number is this week in Club World, it is telling the City that this is actually a cost-cutting programme.

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