Global Airport News

Global Airport News

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh has turned down an annual bonus of GBP£334,000 (USD$490,000), the airline said on Thursday.

Walsh, who is embroiled in a long-running dispute with striking cabin crew, turned down the bonus, which would have been paid in shares, because he "felt it appropriate… in light of the circumstances", BA said in its annual report.

It is the second year in a row that Walsh, whose annual salary remains at GBP£735,000, has turned down a bonus.

Walsh received GBP£674,000 last year after he gave up a month's pay when BA undertook cost saving measures.

BA flight attendants, who have walked out on 22 occasions so far this year, ended their latest five-day strike on Wednesday, and may walk out again during the summer.

The long-running dispute, which has cost the airline around GBP£150 million so far, stems from its decision last November to cut cabin crew pay and reduce staffing levels on flights to save GBP£62.5 million a year in costs.

"There would have been uproar if Walsh had pocketed a bonus this year," the Unite union, which represents BA cabin crew, said in a statement.

"There should be no bonus and no mega-pot of shares until BA sorts the cabin crew dispute."

Two of BA's top investors on Thursday said they support the airline's refusal to bow to union pressure, despite the prospect of more strikes by cabin crew.