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The way we run our business

The workplace

People and organisational effectiveness

In transforming the way we work, we remain focused on creating a diverse, challenging and rewarding workplace which people across the airline can feel proud to be a part of, despite our expectation that the number of people employed will need to reduce as we seek to streamline our business.


As at March 31, 2009, we employed 40,627 MPE.

Average attrition remains low at 7 per cent, with the exception of management grades where a voluntary redundancy programme contributed to a significant increase in attrition for this group.


We operate two principal funded defined benefit pension schemes in the UK, the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) and the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS). Both are closed to new members. From April 1, 2003, new employees were entitled to join the British Airways Retirement Plan (BARP).

SmartPension arrangements, which allow our UK-based employees to make their pension contributions in a more tax-efficient way, were introduced in early 2008. Around 90 per cent of those eligible are now benefiting from this arrangement.

Since 2005 our Employee Reward Plan (ERP) has allowed non-management employees to share in the success of the business based on the achievement of corporate measures and targets. However, due to our losses in the year, the scheme did not operate in 2008/09.

Instead we used local incentive plans to offer rewards for improved performance, assessed against a range of operational, customer and financial measures. The first plan was introduced in Terminal 5 and has led to significant improvements in performance, with targets being exceeded frequently. This approach is now being considered in other areas to drive continuous improvement in our performance across the business.

Total members

March 31, 2009 APS NAPS BARP
Active members 1,494 28,130 6,770
Pensioners in payment 19,266 15,699  
Dependent pensioners 7,301 2,756  
Deferred pensioners 3,143 22,307 584
  31,204 68,892 7,354

Airline operations MPE reduction (average)


Employee costs (excluding restructuring)


“Given the deterioration in trading conditions during the year, no bonuses will be paid.”

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