British Airways has become the first major European scheduled airline to sell advertising space on its boarding passes as it seeks new revenue to stem record losses. The airline, which posted a $175.7 million net loss for the three months ended June 30, said it is now actively seeking advertisers to use space on its boarding cards and on its website.
Jaguar has become the first company to advertise on BA’s website—the first advertisement since the site’s launch in the mid-1990s. Advertising space on boarding passes will be available from October 1.
The airline says that more than 500,000 people a day visit ba.com and it issued over 12 million boarding passes last year. Last month, the airline announced that it would stop serving meals other than breakfast in economy class during short-haul flights. Passengers will instead be offered snacks such as crisps, although the complimentary bar service will remain.
The move has led to criticism that BA was following the budget airlines towards a minimal service model. The decision to put ads on its boarding passes and website also copies the low-costs carriers, although BA insists that its advertisers will have a “strong heritage”.
As part of BA’s cost-cutting strategy, it is seeking to axe 3,400 jobs from its cabin and ground crew. It also wants to cut pay, allowances and impose new working conditions.
The company is expected to restart negotiations with unions next week after the two sides failed to agree terms last month.