Willie Walsh says BA brand will succeed if it stays “relevant”

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh believes that the airline and its brand has a solid future if it can “stay relevant” to customers.

Rache lWeisz BA campaign
Rachel Weisz BA campaign

Speaking to Marketing Week at the official launch of the new First Class cabin, Walsh remained bullish about customer warmth towards BA in the face of continuing strike action by cabin crew members of the Unite union.

He said that the disruption was being caused by a small minority of BA’s overall staff and that the vast majority were keen for the airline to see its fortunes restored.

Walsh said that BA was unlikely to carry an over-arching large scale branding campaign for a while but would “when the time felt right.”

Talking about the tie-up with Iberia, which is subject to regulatory approval, Walsh said that he could forsee co-ordinated branding campaigns in future.

New head of global marketing Kerris Bright has just taken up her position at BA.

The First class cabin was introduced in February this year and is currently available on four aircraft. The airline plans to overhaul 73 aircraft to offer the cabin. It was developed by BA’s in-house team and the design consultancies Tangerine and Forpeople.

Walsh said that the £100m investment “demonstrates our commitment to products and services. We try to develop what customers expect from us, which is an exclusive experience.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here