BA: it's good to talk

12 October 2008
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13 October 2008 | Paul Snell

British Airways has held "very constructive" talks with its key suppliers to manage the current economic turmoil, according to its chief executive. Willie Walsh (with host Dick Russill, independent coach consultant and author, and host of the session), told conference delegates:

British Airways has held "very constructive" talks with its key suppliers to manage the current economic turmoil, according to its chief executive. Willie Walsh (with host Dick Russill, independent coach consultant and author, and host of the session), told conference delegates:

"We've been talking to our key suppliers for some time now and it is natural at a time like this that we would look to our suppliers to help us. This is a time for everyone working with one another and helping one another.

"It is important to understand the strategic nature of the relationships that we have and clearly for us many of the suppliers we deal with are strategic. We expect to deal with them for years to come and, at a time like this, I think it is in our interest to make sure we are all capable of surviving."

But he added the firm would continue to be "tough but fair" in negotiations.

Walsh also said the economic conditions would mean cutbacks in spending for most firms, including BA. But buyers should not feel uncomfortable when trying to cut costs.

"I genuinely believe you should be proud to talk about reducing cost because to me it is more about reducing waste, looking for value for money, looking to be more efficient."

Walsh claimed he was "not embarrassed" to talk about cutting costs. He said: "When I was at Aer Lingus, it made the difference between survival and extinction."



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