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British Airways reaffirms regional commitment by appointing Robert Williams as Head of Sales – Asia Pacific and the Middle East

· “The Middle East remains an extremely important region and we are committed to enhancing our customer experience,” says Robert Williams


· British Airways’ recently announced investment plans to boost customer experience with the new First Wing now open to passengers flying from Kuwait


· Airline set to launch 22 New Routes in 2017 expanding its network of onward connections for Kuwaiti and wider Middle East customers

26 April 2017

Kuwait: British Airways, the UK’s flagship carrier, today reaffirmed its commitment to its Kuwaiti passengers by announcing Robert Williams’ appointment as Head of Sales – Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

In taking the reins as British Airways’ most senior regional executive, Williams’ appointment comes on the back of the airline’s recent global announcement to boost its customer experience by investing in increased excellence in premium cabins and more choice and quality across all cabins and on-the-ground services.

Based in Singapore and reporting directly into the airline’s Head of Global Sales in London, Robert’s new role makes him responsible for managing the airline’s growth and development across Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar – some of British Airways’ most important overseas markets.

“We’ve completed 85 years of successful operations here in the Middle East and the region continues to remain important to British Airways,” said Robert Williams as his first address in his new role. “It’s an exciting time for us at British Airways and we are committed to investing in our customer experience in a rapidly evolving aviation industry. Our customers will continue to notice significant enhancements to their travel experience when flying with us.”

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With over a decade of experience working with the British carrier, Robert will drive the airline’s regional operations, including the roll-out of new investments in products to improve customer experience, starting with the new First Wing at Terminal 5, which is already accessible for British Airways’ Kuwaiti customers flying in FIRST to London Heathrow.

Robert added: “We witness a high preference for our premium services from across the region and we are pleased that the new First Wing is immediately available for all passengers flying FIRST with us.”

Flights from across the Middle East land at Terminal 5, British Airways’ flagship terminal which is now home to its exclusive new ‘First Wing’ check-in area.

The First Wing also includes a dedicated two-lane security channel and direct access to the Galleries First Lounge and Concorde Room for the first time. The two new security lanes also reduce the number of travellers passing through the current South security lanes, helping to speed up the journey for Club World customers too. A relaxed seating area is located after security for customers to gather their possessions in an unhurried atmosphere. The First Wing gives First and Gold Executive Club customers far greater exclusivity with a dedicated combined check-in and Fast Track space.

The full spectrum of other global product investments announced by British Airways’ chairman and CEO, Alex Cruz, include:

– £400m in Club World (long-haul business class)

– Introducing Club Europe on UK domestic services

– New lounges

– First Wing direct security and lounge access at Heathrow

– Latest generation Wi-Fi fitted on long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years

– Self-service check-in and biometric boarding gates to speed up the airport journey

With British Airways existing network already offering excellent onward connections to the UK, wider Europe and more than 25 destinations in North America from its London Heathrow hub, the airline will also add 22 new routes to its global network by the end of 2017.

In a recent statement on the airline’s global investment strategy, Cruz said: “We will invest and innovate where our customers value it most, and differentiate ourselves with a unique on-board experience and service. We’re investing in Club World, focusing now on improved catering and sleep and in the future on a new seat. We’re investing in the best Wi-Fi in the sky, new lounges and direct access to security and our lounges for our First customers, via our new First Wing at Heathrow.”

The airline is also developing options for a new seat in Club World with direct aisle access in 2019. Details will be released in due course.

Alongside these initiatives, British Airways is also making changes behind the scenes to increase operational efficiency and reliability through new technologies including automatic boarding gates and a re-designed baggage arrivals process.

-Ends-

About Robert Williams:
·         Having joined British Airways in 2007, Robert has marked a decade of working with the airline by recently adding the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) territories to his existing commercial responsibilities for markets in the Asia Pacific region (India, South West Pacific, Japan and Korea, and South East Asia)

·         Robert’s most recent achievements in the Asian Pacific region include the launch of British Airways’ Kuala Lumpur route, the opening of major new lounges and bringing the A380 to Singapore

About British Airways:
·         British Airways operates one daily flight from Kuwait to London with several onward connections to Milan, Italy.

·         British Airways flies to over 199 destinations, 10 destinations in the UK, 110 in Europe and 79 in the rest of the world

·         The airline provides customers with access to its global network through London Heathrow’s Terminal 5, voted the best terminal in the world by Skytrax for the fourth year running in 2015

·         The transatlantic joint business (AJB), which brings together American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, and Finnair, means customers can travel with ease from anywhere in Europe to anywhere in the US – connecting passengers to more than 211 US destinations

·         A significant investment in the short-haul product means A320, A321 and A319 short-haul aircraft have been fitted with slimmer seats, clever design to maximise personal space and refreshed cabin interiors. British Airways is nearing the end of a cabin refresh of 95 short-haul aircraft; the elegant new cabins take inspiration from the flagship A380 and 787 aircraft

·         British Airways is investing in new aircraft, with currently 11 A380s and 13 787s in the fleet. Its first 787-9s joined the fleet in September 2015 and started flying in October 2015 and features a new generation First cabin. British Airways also has 18 A350s which will be delivered in 2018 

  • The first Airbus A380 arrived in July 2013 and the Airbus A380 currently serves Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Washington, Singapore

·         An extensive range of carefully selected hotels, car hire and experiences in a wide range of worldwide destinations are available to book with flights from ba.com/holidays

·         Business travellers can also benefit from British Airways’ On Business loyalty programme, which brings together British Airways, Iberia and American Airlines business programmes allowing customers to collect and spend on all three airlines under one scheme

·         British Airways has a track record in innovation, including the introduction of electronic baggage tags, a specially developed app for the Apple Watch, the use of iPads on board and the flat bed seat

·         Last year British Airways has won the Consumer Superbrand for the fourth time in a row, and the Business Superbrand for the second year in a row. This is the first time any company has ever won the double consecutively.

© Press Release 2017

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