British Airways’ head of global sales Mark Muren has pledged to build new, stronger relationships with the trade as the airline – and travel – seeks to recover and emerge from the Covid crisis.
Muren joined BA from United in November 2019, taking over responsibility for all the carrier’s indirect sales channels – only for the sector to be plunged into the greatest crisis in its history a matter of months later.
Speaking on Monday (26 April), Muren revealed that despite BA having reduced the size of its sales team by around a third due to the Covid crisis, he was confident the airline would emerge with a "leaner and better" sales team, backed by a senior leadership team sharing a collective sales vision and culture.
"We intend to approach partnerships with a greater sense of partnership and enthusiasm," said Muren. "Trade partners make us who we are, particularly in [this] recovery from the pandemic.
"We acknowledge the need to do partnership right, it will be the core and foundation of our recovery – [and] we have commitment right from the top."
Muren repeatedly stressed his and his team’s vision had the backing of new BA chief executive Sean Doyle, who took over from long-time leader Alex Cruz last October.
"Sean wants to create a culture grounded in service, excellence and partnerships," said Muren, who revealed the "bulk" of BA’s revenue – "historically more than half" – came from indirect channels, such as the trade.
He also admitted there was work to be done, though, with the carrier having leaned towards direct sales "in the near-term". "Long-term, we continue to think booking through the trade will be a strong majority," said Muren, stressing BA was aware it had under-invested in partnerships in recent years.