British Airways’ transatlantic plans could be thrown into chaos as its US partner American Airlines files for bankruptcy protection. The Texas-based firm listed $24.7billion in assets and $29.6 billion in debt in papers filed in the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, New York.
The fourth largest airline in the world serves as a partner for BA on routes in and out of the US, but applied for protection while is carries out an emergency restructuring.
This month the airline launched a TV ad campaign featuring Kevin Spacey, but some city experts say the news could affect route services.
Andrew Fitchie, analyst at stockbroker INVESTEC, The Sun newspaper: ‘Ultimately this could affect what routes are being offered and the quality of the American product.
‘They will not be able to invest in the service with this going on. It could also affect prices people are charged.’
AA has vowed to honour tickets and reservations, and chief executive Gerard Arpey said the goal now is to become ‘more competitive’.
Back in March, BA joined its transatlantic schedules with AA, to spread flights throughout the day, creating a kind of ‘shuttle service’ between the two.
And BA is standing by its transatlantic partner, saying: ‘We have a successful business together and believe this will provide us with an opportunity to get stronger.’
Meanwhile, a video of American Airlines ground crew singing and dancing on the tarmac at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has gone viral on YouTube.
Around 20 employees took part are joined by another set of workers in the form of a three-piece band playing Johnny’s Cash’s I Walk The Line in what is believed to be a TV commercial shoot.
The footage was captured by YouTube user taylorgaw, who claimed he was delayed for nearly two hours as a result of the filming.
Whether these employees knew that their employer was in dire financial straits before being asked to take part in a spot of line dancing is unknown and in the coming months workers will be left fighting for contracts as the airline looks to trim overheads.
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