asked the Minister for Trade if he will make a statement on the proposed reorganisation of British Airways and its implications for privatisation.
British Airways is to be split into three separate divisions: International Services, European Services, and Gatwick Services. These divisions will operate from 1 May 1982. Each division will have its own managing director, with its own annual budget and its own profit and loss account. There will also be further accountable profit centres within each of these divisions. There will still be common services in areas including engineering, ticket sales, personnel and cargo marketing, and the airline will continue to trade under one name.These important changes follow the steps already put in hand last autumn to reduce the work force by some 9,000 employees, and to cut out unprofitable routes and stations. These steps have been taken in order to make British Airways more efficient, more sensitive to the wishes of travellers, and more profitable, with a view to placing it in the private sector as soon as possible.