It was a weekend of joy for Ryanair, reporting a record year with profits rising 6%. Meanwhile, on the other, side of the runway, British Airways have suffered another set back.
An IT outage forced the airline to cancel hundreds of flights and ruin the holiday plans of thousands of people. The airline faces a huge compensation payout with suggestions the financial impact could run into the tens of millions.
British Airways has always been viewed as the leading premium airline; now the reality is that they couldn’t be further away from it.
The brand is totally confused, scrambling around to find a solution.
From ‘The World’s Favourite Airline’ to ‘Fly to Serve’, BA is positioning itself as premium but acting more in line with the ‘EasyJets’ and ‘Ryanairs’ of this world. Inefficient legroom, paying for substandard meals and mundane experiences; this isn’t what you’d expect from a brand whose claim is based on service and quality.
When they’re selling premium but delivering average, or more recently abysmal, what’s the point of British Airways? They are miles behind the single mindedness of their budget competitors.
There’s currently a huge trend towards premiumisation, but offering M&S sandwiches at a cost to the consumer is anything but first class. Following the crowd never works for any brand. Currently they are following many crowds, all with different ideologies and ways of operating. Until BA realise that their current strategy is completely confused and contradictory, they will continue to decline.
BA is operating on autopilot, free falling into irrelevance. We believe fresh thinking and a challenger mentality is now a necessity. They need to be single-minded and get back to being the premium choice of airline. A strategy focusing on promoting ‘Britishness’ might alleviate any unease around their use of conventional airline advertising.
British Airways – enough is enough. Wake up and smell the coffee.