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British Airways pilots call for new CEO

April 6, 2008 at 5:09 PM

LONDON, April 6 (UPI) -- British Airways pilots want airline Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh fired over problems at London Heathrow's new Terminal 5, the pilots' union said.

In a letter to company and public officials, British Airways' 3,000-pilot strong union plans to criticize Walsh's leadership, decrying what it calls his "arrogance," The Sunday Times of London reported.

"Banks, institutional investors and analysts need to wake up to the fact that there is something very wrong right at the heart of this company that is making our great brand a laughing stock. ... We want confidence in our leadership, not arrogance," said the letter from Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots' Association.

The union points to troubles at Terminal 5 to help make its point. Since the multibillion-dollar facility opened this month, thousands of bags have been misplaced and hundreds of flights have been affected, the newspaper reported.

For his part, Walsh has accepted responsibility for the problems.

"We got things wrong and I'm sorry," he said in the airline's staff newspaper. "If you want to blame someone, blame me."

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