Once a year, International Airlines Group – the parent company for British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, LEVEL and Vueling – runs a ‘Capital Markets Day’.
This is aimed at the banks and institutions that hold the debt and bonds issued by the group, but the event has always been shared more widely. It is the single most important piece of information sharing that IAG does all year, with the heads of all of the IAG business units presenting.
On Tuesday we looked at what IAG Loyalty / Avios Group discussed and what it is planning for 2024. Today I want to look briefly at British Airways.
Slide 22 is the summary of what is planned for British Airways:
- “World-class customer experience”
- “Leading-edge commercial platform”
- “Operational and technical excellence”
- “Modernisation of the IT estate”
Here are some highlights from the slide pack:
- 66% of BA passengers live in the ‘more affluent’ South East (slide 54)
- 75% of BA passengers are travelling for leisure (slide 54) – has the business market gone for good?
- ‘Enhanced food and beverage offering in the BA lounges’ (slide 55) – not sure how that fits with removing the QR-code food ordering and putting the same food in Galleries First and Club …..
- All Heathrow long-haul aircraft will have Club Suite by 2026 (slide 55)
- IT upgrade will lead to ‘end-to-end trip management’ and ‘100% online serviceability’ (ie you should never need to call) (slide 88)
- 50% of check-in desks in Terminal 5 will soon have an independent back-up system in case of a centralised IT meltdown, as will the call centres (slide 89)
- 75% of delays to British Airways flights are within the control of BA and could be avoided – the other 25% are down to weather, third party strikes and airport infrastructure issues (slide 92)
- £100m is being invested to improve punctuality (slide 93)
- % of flights departing within 15 minutes improved from c55% in September to c75% in November to date
The following were among the issues NOT mentioned in the pack:
- refurbishment of long-haul Gatwick aircraft
- performance of Euroflyer and Cityflyer at Gatwick and London City
- the current Net Promoter Score statistics
- the reason for the drop in BA’s operating margin in recent quarters compared to other IAG carriers
- substantive fleet news
Whilst not BA related, I recommend slide 35. This shows the US routes which Aer Lingus could operate when it gets the new A321XLR single aisle aircraft, allowing very low cost operation across the Atlantic. Cities such as St Louis, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Chicago and Detroit are suddenly in range.
(The A321XLR, once Airbus has cleared the order backlog, will be a game changer for transatlantic flying to the East Coast and those cities above. It will allow a start-up carrier to buy a relatively low cost aircraft – compared to a two aisle jumbo – and break even on a relatively low number of passengers per flight.)
For anyone concerned about the financial health of IAG, I also recommend slide 119. Covid-era debt is being paid down rapidly.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 2024)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.