It is hard not to agree with the accuracy of the charge levelled at the CEO of BA by Unite - that Mr Walsh can hardly be surprised if forward bookings on the airline are a disaster if a disaster is all the CEO spends his time talking about. Quite apart from the charge that his message of doom was actually intended to influence the UK and US governments in favour of his desperate anti-passenger tie-up with American, what has he said recently that would encourage anybody with a few quid to put down for a future flight to book with BA?
My spies in KLM and AF report that business reaction to their recent sales blitz are very encouraging. Their business travellers received them enthusiastically and reaffirmed their commitments to the airlines whenever they travel.
Meanwhile from Manchester Airport more news that confirms the marketing strategy and sales prowess of Mr Walsh are a myth, Emirates is shortly to increase its flights from Manchester to Dubai to three a day. BA flies from Manchester to London and a couple of other European cities.
Of course it was Mr Walsh’s predecessor, R. Eddington, who fired the sales teams but W Walsh has been in command for three years now - plenty of time for a far-seeing CEO (if he was ever but a shadow of one) to have installed and trained new teams.
A sales team means that in tough times you have two choices - sell more seats and increase capacity to meet the need, or reduce capacity to meet the market demand - with the risk that the market finds it can do without you entirely.
Without a sales team Mr Walsh has only one option and having wasted too much time since he was appointed, he’s probably doomed.
If that’s so there’s only one option left and that’s to get rid of the entire management, bring in a CEO with the flair and standing that the banks and money people will trust and put the airline on a business footing once again.