BA gets indigestion

Aug 12 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The chaos that has engulfed British Airways as a result of a dispute involving its catering supplier, Gate Gourmet, can be traced all the way back to the airline's efficiency drive which has seen 13,000 jobs cut and £700m shaved from its costs, according to Michael Harrison in the Independent.

It is also a timely reminder of the enormous damage that can be inflicted on a company's reputation by its choice of suppliers.

Would the Heathrow catering dispute have flared up in the way it has if the staff involved were part of BA and it had full control over the operation? Impossible to say. But it is a timely reminder that outsourcing operations, especially to gimlet-eyed private equity firms, can be a double-edged sword.

The Independent | Cost-cutting comes back to bite BA as catering row runs out of control