British Airways is making an effort to raise its poor on-time arrival performance by offering its staff free confirmed Business Class tickets to anywhere in the world as a perk for helping to get flights off the ground on time.
According to information provided by aviation statistics firm OAG, the Heathrow-based carrier only managed an on-time arrival percentage of 69.9% last month. Comparatively, Iberia and rival Virgin Atlantic both had remarkable on-time arrival rates of 88.9 percent and 77.8 percent, respectively.
Nearly all of BA’s significant rivals, including Emirates, easyJet, Air France, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Dutch flag carrier KLM, defeated the airline.
In an effort to turn things around last year, British Airways even poached the chief operating officer from KLM. Nevertheless, so far at least, the turnaround efforts have proven extremely challenging to accomplish.
The airline has been attributing the ongoing delays to outside forces, including as weather and air traffic control strikes, particularly those that occurred recently in France in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to raise the retirement age.
Even so, it’s challenging to discount the likelihood that some of BA’s largest issues are a result of its own actions when its European competitors continue to outperform it in terms of operational performance and durability.
There aren’t enough engineers and maintenance workers to maintain aircraft at the same rate that BA is attempting to run its ambitious schedule, and the airline is also having trouble finding and keeping key ground crew who load luggage, connect jetties to flights, or operate pushback tugs.
British Airways, more than American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Iberia combined, canceled more than 2% of its regular flights last month as a result.
But, senior managers are hoping that by holding a complimentary Business Class ticket raffle, they will encourage personnel to board more flights on schedule.
On each day the airline meets its alleged D15 target between April 1 and April 14, a random employee’s name will be drawn as the reward (the percentage of flights that depart within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time).
British Airlines has set a D15 target of just 67% for the Easter break, maybe realizing how dire the situation is.
If local targets are met during the same time period, there will also be a chance to win guest passes to British Airlines’ First lounge. The winners will each receive a pair of verified Club World tickets for any location on the British Airways network.
British Airways at least beats Air Inuit, a Canadian airline, which in February had an on-time arrival percentage of just 39.2% and a cancellation rate of almost 15%.
According to IAG data, Mexican carrier Volaris had the best performance, with an almost perfect on-time arrival percentage of 98.9%.