British Airways parent IAG held their version of Investor Day on Friday. The presentation (.pdf) clearly wasn’t geared towards customers, focused as it was on cost-cutting and promising not to grow their flights. They’ve always been probably too candid, even, at these events in describing how they plan to separate customers from their money. For instance here’s a slide from IAG investor deck in 2016:
The new one is equally interesting. Here are 11 key takeaways:
- With first class increasingly undifferentiated from business class on British Airways – indeed business class will have doors while first class will not – they aren’t even separating out business and first as different ‘demand segments’ for their product.
- They’ve been touting a ‘6.5 billion pound’ investment for many years – it sounds like a lot when you hear it, because it sounds as though it’s money right now but it’s actually been dragging out for quite some time and far less impressive.
- They’re proud of how they are driving down costs.
- At IAG “digital transformation” must mean “IT failures bring down the whole operation.”
- They’re planning to slow growth at their airlines relative to what they’ve previously announced.
- The group’s short haul fleet is expected to remain flat over the next three years.
- That doesn’t include any of the 200 Boeing 737 MAXs that they’re supposedly going to take (it’s just a letter of intent, not a firm order) since those wouldn’t start to arrive until 2023. British Airways and Vueling will have the same configuration for these aircraft. That makes the planes easily swappable, but also underscores BA as a low cost carrier within Europe.
- Indeed, they declare “cost reduction is in our DNA” – after all they took full service British Airways to a carrier that charged for water on flights within Europe for passengers who wanted to make their own tea.
- You see that in the reductions in headcount at Iberia as well.
- As Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s retire, and they take on Airbus A350s, Boeing 787s, and long range Airbus A321s, the total long haul fleet grows slowly on net.
- The UK is the group’s largest market, followed by the rest of Europe (including Spain), and then North America.