BA to put artworks on sale to cushion Covid-19 cash crunch
London - British Airways will sell at least 10 works of art from its extensive collection, a source said, to try to raise millions of pounds to boost its cash reserves as it struggles through the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline has come under fire from British politicians for plans to cut 12 000 jobs. But with planes grounded and no revenue, it says the job losses are necessary because travel demand is set to shrink in coming years.
At least 10 artworks in BA’s collection, currently hanging on the walls of the airline’s business lounges and its Waterside headquarters near London Heathrow, have been earmarked for sale," Market Watch reported.
The idea to sell the artwork had originally come from an employee. But BA declined to comment.
The BA collection includes works by Damien Hirst, Peter Doig and Bridget Riley, and selling off some of the works, which usually hang in executive lounges at airports, was an idea from a BA staff member, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday.
At least one work has been valued at more than 1 million pounds, the source added.
BA boss Alex Cruz said last week that with its parent company IAG burning through 178 million pounds a week, he could not guarantee BA's survival and urged unions to engage over the job cuts.
The airline has said it is taking steps now to reduce up to 28 percent of staff numbers to protect as many jobs as it can in the long term.Reuters