Management cull begins at British Airways

In the wake of the disastrous opening of the new Terminal 5 at London’s Heathrow Airport, British Airways has acted by announcing that operations director, Gareth Kirkwood (right) and customer services director, David Noyes, would be leaving the company.

The two senior executives have paid the price for the fiasco surrounding the opening of the new facility, which saw hundreds of flights cancelled and some 28,000 bags going astray.

It was inevitable that Kirkwood’s position would become untenable after the shambolic first week of operations. Kirkwood also remains under investigation by the US Department of Justice for alleged price-fixing while in his previous position as head of British Airways World Cargo. The DoJ has not yet ruled out pressing for the extradition of Kirkwood and nine other present and former employees implicated in the cartel activity.

Chief executive Willie Walsh will be hoping that the pressure on his position will ease following the announcement, despite an earlier statement that “the buck stops with me”.

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