BA promotes executive facing price-fix charge

British Airways has promoted head of sales Andrew Crawley who is facing a jail term over allegations of dishonestly fixing fuel prices to the new role of head of sales and marketing. Crawley is one of four past and present BA executives who face charges following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

British Airways has promoted head of sales Andrew Crawley – who is facing a jail term over allegations of dishonestly fixing fuel prices – to the new role of head of sales and marketing. Crawley is one of four past and present BA executives who face charges following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

He takes up the new role in January as part of a restructure of BA’s sales and marketing teams. The airline has created a new role of customer director, which Silla Maizey has held on an interim basis. Maizey is currently head of corporate responsibility. Commercial director Robert Boyle will become the director of the strategy business unit.

The reshuffle follows a voluntary severance programme in September to cut 10% of its workforce. In October, British Airways head of marketing communications Katherine Whitton resigned, leaving Abigail Comber, head of the marketing communications division then the most senior marketer at BA. Former head of marketing and communications Tiffany Hall left in July.

Crawley, former commercial director and board member Martin George, former head of communications Iain Burns, and Alan Burnett, former head of UK and Ireland sales appeared in court on the price-fixing charges earlier this month. None have yet entered pleas.

The charges relate to allegations that the executives conspired with counterparts at Virgin Atlantic between 2004 and 2006 to fix the price of fuel surcharges, resulting in passengers overpaying for transatlantic flights.

BA and Virgin Atlantic have agreed to repay an estimated 6 million customers up to £20 per return flight. BA has already paid more than £270m in fines from the Office of Fair Trading and the US Department of Justice, including another case involving cargo fuel surcharges.

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