Global distribution system and online travel agency actions against American Airlines have not impacted revenue for the AA-BA joint business across the Atlantic, according to a British Airways official who asked not to be identified. As per that joint venture agreement, enacted last year, the carriers share revenue on transatlantic services. [more]
As JP Morgan aviation analyst Jamie Baker pointed out in a research note on Wednesday, somewhere around 43 percent of American's overall revenue, or $8 billion, "has been put at risk in hopes of generating savings likely measuring just a few hundred million dollars."
As for now, BA is keeping out of the fray.
He was not the executive who made the comment about the joint venture, but BA CEO Willie Walsh during a Wings Club event Thursday in New York was asked to share his thoughts on what's going on in the U.S. distribution landscape. He said the "debate was inevitable," adding he's had "great interest watching this one" as an observer, not an actor.
Noting there would always be a role for travel management companies and global distribution systems, Walsh said BA for the "foreseeable future" plans to sell through those channels "because our customers want it." Ultimately, he sees opportunity "for a productive relationship between traditional distribution systems and airlines."