Passenger fury forces British Airways to hire hundreds of call center workers Business

British Airways has pledged to hire hundreds of call center staff amid passenger fury over long delays in answering calls.

The flag carrier is also canceling 16,000 spring and summer flights as it grapples with staff shortages.

BA chief executive Sean Doyle said the airline will hire 500 call center agents over the next two months as the airline prepares for the busiest time of the year. Some 150 staff members have already been hired.

The Easter holiday was ruined by a series of cancellations and reports of waiting hours to speak to customer service.

Mr Doyle said: “We will be building our capacity in our contact centers over the next two months to the level we need.”

Meanwhile, the BA chief insisted the airline was able to hire enough staff – but was unable to get them to work due to long delays in screening procedures of security.

In the meantime, it plans to reduce its schedules by cutting 8,000 return flights over the next few months. Mr Doyle said BA would accommodate customers by offering them the option of transferring onto similar flights.

This means that its owner, IAG, will run 80% of 2019 services this year, up from 85% previously planned.

The remarks came as the FTSE 100 company announced a pre-tax loss of 916 million euros for the first three months of the year. With the easing of travel restrictions for part of the quarter, revenue fell from 1 billion euros to 3.4 billion euros.

The worse-than-expected losses sent IAG shares down about 10%. The stock has fallen 36% in the past 12 months, putting pressure on its chief executive, Luis Gallego. Meanwhile, share prices of rivals such as Air France KLM and Germany’s Lufthansa recorded gains.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-06 15:06:07

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