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BA embarks on 5.5 billion pounds investment in aircraft acquisition

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THE Chief Executive Officer of British Airways, Keith Williams has said that the company was embarking on a large scale investment programme that would see the company acquire 24 B787 (Dreamliners), just as the carrier has perfected plans to take delivery of twelve A380 with screen projectors.

With the acquisition of British Midland, this give the brand a lot more routes out of Heathrow and BA plans to grow these roots over time.

At a roundtable teleconference with journalists across the globe in which The Guardian participated, he reiterated that Nigeria was clearly a huge market for BA having served there for 75 years, stressing that BA had a commitment to Lagos and Abuja to serve them better and would also include more routes so as to satisfy more customers.

Williams disclosed that apart from BA’s investment in 747 and 787, he said that BA had introduced the new first class products on its aircraft, which is a “complete new first class cabin. BA is also in the process of updating its in-flight entertainment systems to the latest colour systems which gives customers much wider capabilities of looking at the various available channels on the aircraft.”

His words, “Currently, there are 200 channels available. Also the catering products are being updated to suit the cabin choice of customers. Feedbacks, we have gotten from our customers from across all networks, have shown that our customers are truly satisfied with the services we provide them.”

Asked on what specific routes BA plans to expand to in Nigeria, he said that it was clear that Lagos and Abuja were two very important routes, hinting that Port Harcourt was a destination the carrier would be looking at because of its importance.

“It is a big business area and BA is in the business of connecting major cities around the globe with Heathrow, and in Nigeria these are the three major cities which are also important to us,” he added.

Unfolding the airline’s strategy for 2012, the airline chief stated that base on the nature of “our business, point to point is of primary importance for us. Forty per cent of the traffic that comes from Heathrow connects us to our point-to-point business. Our primary importance is to serve the world’s key cities point to point and clearly Nigeria is a part of that service.”

His words: “BA is giving its crew iPad which in turn gives them lots of data about BA’s customers. These data help the crew to know the likes and dislikes of our customers, which would help them serve customers better in terms of providing them with their specific needs. The crew has the opportunity to interact with customers, thereby knowing more about the customers, such as knowing what they have done previously, for instance their travel history. The iPad has been very popular with the cabin crew and customers.”

Williams, however, debunked allegations made by the Nigerian authorities that its fares on the London-Lagos routes were exorbitant.

According to him: “BA is well aware of the allegations made by the Nigerian authorities against its carriers and the way to go is for customers to log on to to see the fares on the websites. For instance, in the summer fares, we have leading fares, which starts from $269. Looking at them, I would say they are competitive in the market which makes BA highly competitive amongst other brands,” he added.

Article credit: Guardian Newspaper

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Updated 7 Years ago

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