BA pair quit amid fuel surcharge probeAirline confirms resignations of two top staff

09 October 2006

 

A plane in the sky

Two British Airways managers who've been on leave of absence during a probe into the alleged fixing of long-haul fuel surcharges have both resigned.

The airline today confirmed the departure of Commercial Director Martin George and Head of Communications Iain Burns.

In a letter to BA chairman Martin Broughton, Mr George said within his department 'there may have been inappropriate conversations in violation of company policy in relation to long-haul fuel surcharges'.

He added: 'I was not involved in such conversations. Although the board of BA have not found that I have behaved in a dishonest way, I fully recognise my responsibilities as head of department and as a board director.'

Surcharge investigation

Mr George, who has worked for BA for 19 years, said he was leaving 'with deep regret, whilst believing that departing is, in these circumstances and for these reasons, nevertheless, the right course'.

The fuel surcharge investigation into BA and certain other airlines which have not been named has been mounted by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the US Department of Justice.

If found guilty of price-fixing, an airline faces a fine of up to 10 per cent of its worldwide sales. BA's worldwide sales last year totalled £8.52 billion.

The OFT says its investigation is ongoing and it is understood it could last several months.