It was heartening to read that you feel that British Airways' response to competing with no-frills operators is the only one of the major European full-service carriers to have "strategic respectability". However, I would take issue with your view that full-service carriers should set up a no-frills operation as a way of competing with the no-frills airlines.

Having worked in the global aviation industry for the past 20 years, I know of no case where an airline has managed successfully to operate both a no-frills and and a full-service business simultaneously in the same marketplace.

There are plenty who have tried to bring these two different operating models together under the same roof, but none have made it into a success. I cannot see the situation changing.

The BA board was fully supportive of the decision to sell Go as it recognised that the sale was an excellent return on our initial £25 million ($36 million) investment.

It is only since we sold Go that we have been able to focus truly on how we are going to compete effectively and intelligently with the no-frills operators.

We are now moving forward as a full-service airline and have recently launched the first part of our new strategy. This restructure of our UK domestic fares system will be followed shortly by a complete overhaul of our European pricing strategy.

I do not believe that this, as you put it, will prove a "costly failure".

On the contrary, I believe that the combination of excellent service at highly competitive prices will prove to be very successful for British Airways.

Rod Eddington

Chief executive, British Airways, Harmondsworth, UK

Source: Flight International