Flying off the shelves: Champagne flutes and fine china from British Airways first-class go under the hammer amid £5.4billion losses
- British Airways will auction off some of its historic items used for first class
- The items are expected to include champagne flutes, fine china and glassware
- Comes following huge £5.4 billion losses at airline amid the Covid-19 pandemic
British Airways is set to auction off champagne flutes and fine china previously used to serve first class passengers amid the financial turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The sale, expected to be announced officially next week, comes after the airline’s owner revealed huge pandemic-fuelled losses of £5.4 billion in the year to September.
The auction is being planned with BA not expecting to use as much tableware as flights continue to be curtailed.
The sale could see drinks trolleys and earlier designs of glassware also up for auction, as well as equipment from 747 jets, which the airline retired earlier this year.
British Airways is expected to auction off champagne flutes, fine china and other forms of tableware to raise money
The auction is being planned with BA not expecting to use as much tableware as flights continue to be curtailed
The sale could see drinks trolleys and earlier designs of glassware also up for auction before Christmas
BA is expected to describe it as an opportunity for customers to own a piece of British Airways history
Many of the items set to go under the hammer are currently sitting in warehouses.
The auction is expected to take place before Christmas.
BA is expected to describe it as an opportunity for customers to own a piece of British Airways history.
The firm has yet to comment on the auction.
It comes after BA sold millions of pounds worth of art from its collection earlier this year in an effort to bolster its cash holdings.
Sotheby’s was brought in to value the airline’s art collection, which included works by artists such as Damien Hirst.
BA has been devastated by the pandemic, not unlike the rest of the industry.
Earlier this month, it announced it will suspend all flights from Gatwick airport and furlough ‘many more’ staff as the second Covid lockdown bites.
In a letter to staff seen by Sky News, the airline warned that it will mean ‘moving many more colleagues, from both operational and support function areas onto the government’s extended Job Retention Scheme.’
BA, whose owner suffered a £5.4 billion loss in the first nine months of 2020, called it a ‘blow to our hopes for the winter season.’
Many of the items that are expected to go under the hammer are currently sitting in warehouses
The firm has yet to comment on the auction. BA has been devastated by the pandemic, with heavy losses reported
Equipment from 747 jets, which the airline retired earlier this year, are also set to be up for auction
It is the second time the airline has grounded all flights at Gatwick, the previous suspension coming shortly after the first national lockdown in March.
‘We have made the difficult decision to further reduce our operation for the rest of November.’ BA management said in its letter.
‘This means far fewer flights than we hoped for in November and means grounding more of our aircraft, including pausing all flights from Gatwick until December.’
BA’s parent company IAG previously announced a £5.4 billion loss in the first nine months of this year.
IAG CEO Luis Gallego blamed the pandemic for the reverse in fortune but added it was ‘exacerbated’ by ‘constantly changing’ government restrictions.
Instead, he argued countries needed to ‘evolve’ from quarantines and called for a new pre or post-flight testing system that would release people on arrival.
We cannot wait until the vaccine to have people flying,’ Mr Gallego said. ‘We need to evolve from quarantines. They are not the solution.’
Last month, new BA CEO Sean Doyle called on the Government to scrap the self-isolation requirement for international arrivals.
He said the current quarantine system is having a devastating effect on tourism and business travel and called to replace it with a ‘test before flying’ system.
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