British Airways Head of Sales and Marketing UK and Ireland, Richard Tams, stated the carrier plans to increase corporate fares next year as demand recovers (Business Travel News, 06-Oct-2010). The airline restructured its corporate sales strategy this year, in which account managers were shifted away from clients with best-on-day buying policies. It is now further redeveloping the strategy, following the launch of its trans-Atlantic JV with American Airlines and Iberia and planned merger with Iberia. Mr Tams also rejected beliefs consolidation in the airline industry leads to increased fares, citing Delta Air Lines’ recently announced plans to expand on the US-London Heathrow route.
British Airways: “We are beginning to see more alignment between supply and demand, so we are trying to increase our yield in the corporate market so we can plot our route back to profitability. Given that demand is growing, that is going to have the effect of less availability of lower fares. We are also negotiating for lower discounts moving forward. It doesn't mean fewer deals, but we are aiming to make them more commercially sustainable … What we have found with a number of companies over the last couple of years is that they have become much more transactional and that we are only as good as our last fare. We are refocusing our sales efforts on companies which want strategic relationships with us, and we will work with the transactional clients in a different way. A number of our largest clients know we aren't necessarily the cheapest on the market, but they may be more interested in things like the service they get on the ground and the quality of the management information we provide … If you ask Delta if it intends to lie down and let us take the entire UK-US market, it will take a very different view,” Richard Tams, Head of Sales and Marketing UK and Ireland. Source: Business Travel News, 06-Oct-2010.