British Airways pulped thousands of copies of a commemorative edition of its internal newsletter to celebrate the launch of Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, after it was deemed inappropriate amid the chaos of the launch.
BA News is an internal weekly publication for BA staff, out every Thursday and run by managing editor Ian Lynch. An extra edition was due out last Friday to coincide with the launch of the much-hyped new terminal, but production was dramatically halted half-way through printing.
The launch of T5 got off to a disastrous start last Thursday, with a total of 208 flights in and out of the terminal cancelled during its first three days.
A spokesperson for BA told Press Gazette: ‘It hadn’t actually finished its print run when the decision was made not to actually produce it. Given the problems for our customers it didn’t seem appropriate at the time.”
BA News is a full-colour A3 publication with advertising, which is produced in-house and distributed to around 40,000 staff members.
Sarah Longbottom, editor of weekly trade publication for the travel industry Travel Weekly, said that it was a wise move to scrap the commemorative edition. ‘The mood from staff, from what I can gather, is very low at the moment. The unions predicted that the start of T5 was going to be a huge problem and it was.
‘They anticipated that people hadn’t been trained properly and there hadn’t been enough training.
‘If BA had run the newsletter it would have rubbed salt in very deep wounds. My personal view is that it wouldn’t have gone down very well – the staff are very frustrated.”