‘World’s favourite airline’ British Airways drops to 55th in rankings

‘World’s favourite airline’ British Airways drops to 55th in the rankings as its reputation is plagued by IT failures, hacking attacks and pilot strikes

  • British Airways is put near the bottom of airline reputation index after ‘mishaps’
  • The company’s reputation has been affected by IT crashes and strikes by staff
  • BA’s status also fell after 400,000 customers were affected by a hack last year  

British Airways has been placed near the bottom of worldwide airline reputation  rankings. 

The airline has been placed 55th out of a possible 65 in a reputation index by the intelligence company alva, which claims BA is facing ‘an identity crisis’. 

The company’s reputation has been hit by ‘successive events’ including cabin crew going on strike in the summer of 2016, to an IT crash the following year which left thousands of passengers stranded. 

The airline has been placed 55th out of a possible 65 in a reputation index by the intelligence company alva, which claims BA is facing ‘an identity crisis’. The company’s reputation has been hit by ‘successive events’, according to a report [File photo]

The news comes as up to 800 flights may be affected as a result of BA pilots going on strike on Monday and Tuesday, according to The Times. 

The ‘malicious’ data breach which affected more than 400,000 British Airways customers last year saw the company’s position temporarily fall to having a ‘low reputation’ after its boss apologised to customers after the breach. 

It also temporarily fell even further this summer when the company was handed a £183million fine over the same data breach.  

The report states: ‘The nature of the negative events is significant. Delays, cancellations, data breaches and IT glitches all point to systems failures at the company, which are all too easily linked back in stakeholders’ minds to the aforementioned internal focus on costcutting and efficiencies. 

‘What initially may have seemed like bad luck or bad planning, can quickly morph into a narrative of underinvestment; the company putting shareholder interests above those of passengers and employees’.

The company’s reputation has been hit by ‘successive events’ including cabin crew going on strike in the summer of 2016, to an IT crash which left thousands of passengers stranded, pictured above at Heathrow Airport in May 2017

The report claims that the reputation of British Airways also took a hit when a plane operated by WDL Aviation accidentally flew to Edinburgh in Scotland, instead of Dusseldorf in Germany. 

The company has been urged to ‘take heart’ by following the example of Volkswagen, whose public image has improved after the diselgate emissions scandal. 

The report said: ‘The ‘dieselgate’ scandal was barely out of the news throughout 2015-2017 as investigations, resignations and fines dominated the company’s narrative. 

‘VW used the scandal as an opportunity to restructure and refocus, overhauling the company’s culture and committing investment to electric vehicles’.

A spokesperson for British Airways told MailOnline: ‘We’ve been connecting Britain to the world and the world to Britain for the last 100 years and during this time we’ve embraced incredible opportunities, as well as facing many challenges.

‘We are proud to fly more than 45 million customers a year and, while challenges remain and change takes time to deliver in aviation, our customers are noticing the investments we are making.

‘Our £6.5bn investment in 73 new aircraft, new cabins – including a reimagined Club World, new lounges, new dining, new technology and onboard WiFi – is well underway. 

‘We’ve just taken delivery of our first A350 with our new business class Club Suite, which has just started operating to Dubai’.  

British Airways was ranked as top airline and top improver in a recent YouGov Brand Index of UK airlines 2019.

The company has been urged to ‘take heart’ by following the example of Volkswagen, whose public image has improved after the diselgate emissions scandal. The report said VW used the scandal as an opportunity to restructure and refocus

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