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  • Subject Name : Management

Business Risk Management


Purpose of Report

Organization Objectives.

2.1 Scenario Post COVID-19.

2.2 How British Airways responded and reformed its business objectives:

2.3 Immediate Response towards COVID-19 scenario (Airways, 2020):

2.4 Objectives Post normalisation of COVID-19 (Brinded, 2020):

Regulatory Context

3.1. Key for Scores on the Risk Register

3.2. Acceptable Risk Thresholds.

3.3Scoring opportunities.

Risk Register

Reference list

1. Purpose of Report

In the advancement towards globalization, organizations have become more exposed to different kind of risks that can affect the business activities. Therefore, organizations need to critically emphasise on risk management if they want to succeed in local or international markets. The preliminary objective of the risk management strategy is to make sure that the anticipated risks are controlled and any sort of barricades is determined at the initiation stage (Coleman, 2016). This professional report envisages elaborating on the risk register for British Airways which is the flag carrier airline headquartered in Harmondsworth, United Kingdom and operates on worldwide routes. The report has been prepared to keep specifically the sudden unprecedented changes caused by the prevailing health pandemic of Corona Virus (hereafter, COVID-19). The report will discuss how the organizational objectives that were established differently at the start of 2020 had to undergo radical changes post COVID-19, the likely risks that have surfaced for the company, how the company has responded towards mitigating the risks and potential opportunities that lay ahead for the organization. 

2. Organization Objectives

The year 2019 marked the centenary year for British Airways (Airways, 2019). The airline company had launched revised organization objectives, referring them as “20 New Year resolutions” which would reflect their vision through 2020. The company envisaged the objectives which have been summarised as under (Airways, 2019):

  • Nine new routes for providing customers with more travel range
  • Launch more than 20 new aircraft which would be 40 per cent more efficient.
  • To provide premium customer service by introducing Club Suite in their aircraft and enhancing customer experience in economy class by providing refreshed bedding
  • Lay additional focus by mitigating Carbon emissions, thereby enhancing sustainability in the external environment.
  • New uniforms for new decade
  • Introduction of new menus and partnering with caterers Do&Co at Heathrow and Newcrest at Gatwick. 
  • Aiming to make the majority of eligible aircraft Wi-Fi ready by 2020
  • Revamping of the airline website to make the navigation more comprehensive and user-friendly
  • Increasing the functionality of British Airways mobile application thereby enhancing customer experience
  • Incorporating the use of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics to in select countries to improve customer navigation process through the airport
  • continue their trial of printing non-essential aircraft parts like tray tables, to ensure flights can depart on time and without seats going out of service.
  • Introducing new Concorde teams to look after guests of Premier Card and Gold Guest List Executive Club members travelling through important cities in the world such as Los Angeles, New York JFK, London Heathrow, Delhi, Los Angeles and Mumbai.
  • Providing additional training to airline staff to enhance the overall customer experience of associating with airlines
  • Focus on making continuous improvements in Executive Club through collaboration with new partners and implementation of different promotional activities
  • Providing paid summer internships to future aviators
  • Launching a documentary about British Airways for customers to access during long-haul flights

2.1 Scenario Post Covid-19

The above organization objectives were set out at the start of 2020. However, the prevailing pandemic health crisis (Corona Virus) picked up its course during the first half of 2020 (March particularly) and left the whole world grappling for stability. The threat of the pandemic made governing bodies across the world take the step of calling for country-wide shutdowns and enforcing strict adherence to social distancing (Albers and Rundshagen, 2020). The aviation industry was the among the leading sectors to take the worst hit of the situation and as a result, all the airports were shut down and flights were cancelled indefinitely (Albers and Rundshagen, 2020).

2.2 How British Airways Responded and Reformed Its Business Objectives:

In light of the above situation, British Airways like all other organizations had no option but to comply with the decision of the government and cancelled all its flights until any further notice. The airlines, however, quickly changed the business objectives that were now redirected towards supporting the country and helping fight the prevailing health crisis. Instead of this, British Airways charted the objectives as immediate response and strategies for the future.

2.3 Immediate Response Towards Covid-19 Scenario (Airways, 2020):

British Airways responded to fight against prevailing COVID-19 pandemic by

  • Capitalising its strong financial reserves and not take government aid for the management of its business affairs (Martin, 2020)
  • Suspending its airline staff by giving them a capped paid leave for two months after which the airline would assess the situation and take the further call (Martin, 2020)
  • Supporting the government in the distressing time by utilising the skills of its staff that are trained at handling disaster management. The airline offered to provide the British government support of volunteers from its staff who now had enough time to help organizations and individuals in need (Airways, 2020).

2.4 Objectives Post Normalisation of Covid-19 (Brinded, 2020):

  • Reducing Cash crunch that arose during COVID-19 (Brinded, 2020)
  • Assessing the scope of employee redundancy (employee lay-offs) and mitigating it as much as possible (Brinded, 2020)
  • Restore financial balance (Brinded, 2020)
  • Regain control of airline operations by 2023 (Brinded, 2020)
  • Restoring customer faith to travel again post COVID-19 (Brinded, 2020)

3. Regulatory Context

3.1. Key for Scores on the Risk Register

Table 1: Risk scores


probability of the Risk Event incidence

anticipated impact on the business


Highly unlikely (<10%)



Unlikely (10-30%)



Potential (30-60%)



Likely (60-90%)



Highly likely (>90%)


Source: Retrieved from Hubbard (2009)

The above-provided risk scores highlight the severity of the impact of a risk on the firm. As per Hubbard (2009), by categorizing the risks as per their occurrence and impact, it becomes easier to implement the strategies accordingly.

3.2. Acceptable Risk Thresholds

The following table depicts the actions needed in the organization for dealing with the specific types of risks. It enables the organization to take valuable actions and prioritize the risks. Al the scores in the following table are calculated by the multiplication of the impact and the likelihood of the risks.

Table 3: Risk score and the actions required




Mitigation activities

Low risk


Accepting and tolerating the risk


Medium risk


Incorporating supervision for change

NO (continual supervision is necessary to keep the situation under control)

High risk


The requirement of a mitigating action


Source: Adapted from Hubbard (2009)

3.3 Scoring Opportunities

Since the opportunities do not require mitigation, they are not scored and they have a constructive impact on the organization. Also, they are not characterized by a particular threshold. An organization would want an opportunity to be more frequent.

4. Risk Register

Risk number

Risk Description

Existing Controls

Likelihood (1-5)

Impact (1-5)

Risk Rating

Mitigation Actions


Reputation Risk






In the present scenario, the airline is standing at a huge risk of damage on brand reputation as the decision to downsize the airline in wake of prevailing health crisis has not gone down well with the employees who feel betrayed after providing a committed service to the customers of British Airlines for a long time. For British Airways, it is fundamental that the brand reputation is maintained so that good commercial value is sustained. The airline also stands a likely chance to lose the reputation because of the national campaign launched against them by Trade Union, Unite (Unite the Union, 2020).

The company has a sound public relations team to look after and address any issues that can potentially affect brand reputation (British Airways, 2020). In light of the present circumstances, the airlines' media centre has been actively publishing news about how the airlines are supporting the people and government in fighting against Corona Virus (Airways, 2020).


Presently, British Airways is in constant discussion with the Unite, Trade Union to proceed with the decision of downsizing which is on acceptable terms and does not affect brand reputation. The airline media centre is also actively engaged in safeguarding the brand reputation which has got affected due to the downsizing decision as a consequence of COVID-19 (British Airways, 2020). The media centre is also engaging in restoring customer faith by providing them with information on for safer travel and revised travelling norms (British Airways, 2020b).


Financial Risk






The prevailing pandemic crisis has shaken up almost all aspects of normalcy. Every organization regardless of nature and size has been hugely affected by the consequences of the COVID-19. The aviation industry has been the worst affected industries that have taken the direct hit of the consequences of social distancing, travel bans and flying restrictions enforced by governments across the globe. British Airways has been banking on its strong balance sheet and has been exploiting it to survive the complete shut-down that has happened due to COVID-19. However, the company is now at risk of running out of its savings and reserves which if not managed will further impact the recovery road for the airlines beyond years as the passenger numbers will not likely return to Pre COVID -19 levels for years.

At present, British Airways is heavily reliant on the reserves and surplus and the support of parent company IAG to survive the impact of Corona Virus (British Airways, 2020c).


The Group has an established process to monitor financial and counterparty risk on an ongoing basis (British Airways, 2020c).

Group has been able to renew and extend credit facilities and agree on new aircraft leases (British Airways, 2020c).

Introduce additional one-year funding facilities in advance of an improvement in market conditions (British Airways, 2020c).

Banking on regular aircraft financing arrangements (British Airways, 2020c).


Credit Risk






British Airways uses fuel hedging derivatives to offset the lower cost of purchasing jet fuels. However, with the sudden change in the global landscape due to COVID-19, the requirement for the purchase of jet fuel plummeted significantly as the airlines were hardly operational during the first six months of the year 2020. This created a disbalance of €1,269 million relating to over-hedging, being the losses on fuel hedging derivatives maturing in 2020.

The main British Airways Revolving Credit Facility was extended by one year to June 2021 and other credit facilities have also been added within the Group.


Implementation of additional borrowing facilities (British Airways, 2020c).

The airline has made use of Instituto de Crédito Oficial (‘ICO’) facility in Spain to draw additional non-aircraft debt of €1,010 million (British Airways, 2020c).

Issuance of commercial paper worth €330 million using the UK’s Coronavirus Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF) (British Airways, 2020c).

Defer in new aircraft deliveries that were scheduled to be received in 2020-22, in an attempt to reduce total capital expenditure by €1.5 billion as proposed in the start of 2020 before COVID-19 situation (British Airways, 2020c).


Security and Fraud Risk






The threat to cyber-security and potential frauds has relatively increased since most of the employees are working remotely (from their locations like homes) which might be happening through unsecured web portals.

The Group had in 2018 updated their website policies (British Airways Plc, 2018) and privacy policies in 2019 (British Airways Plc, 2019) to secure customer navigation and transactions.


The Group has maintained its planned investment in cybersecurity and taken steps to mitigate IT and other risks as a result of remote working (British Airways, 2020c).


Economic Risk






The airlines are facing travel bans and quarantine restrictions from various countries across the globe due to COVID-19 which has significantly impacted group operations.

Active monitoring and assessing situations in various countries.

Keeping a flexible approach to accommodate near term capacity plans as per different countries COVID-19 present status (British Airways, 2020c).


In this case, British Airways have no option but to comply with the prevailing decisions enforced by governments of various countries.

The group has estimated to recover from the impact of COVID-19 by 2023 which can still be revised subjected to changing nature of the prevailing Pandemic (British Airways, 2020c).


Operation Risk






This risk refers to Airports, infrastructure and employees management. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the airlines' operations had been completely shut-down to enforce safety and hygiene measures and conform to social distancing norms. The revised restrictions have led to a change in capacity adjustments. Hence British Airway stands the risk of the complete change in existing operating procedures that may make it difficult for the company to recover soon from the impact.

The Group has pro-actively worked with suppliers to ensure operations are maintained and the impact to their businesses understood, with mitigations implemented where necessary.

Additional safety procedures have been introduced to protect the Group’s staff and customers, in line with industry recommendations. Where possible, the Group’s staff worked from home and in line with governments’ recommendations.


The Group has taken action to preserve cash and boost liquidity.

Cost savings have included the employee redundancy (downsizing) which has although given huge criticism to the airlines (Martin, 2020).

The company has also resorted to retiring its legacy aircraft like the fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft (Airways, 2020b) pending lease renewal given meagre passenger travel due to ongoing pandemic crisis. 


Opportunity Number

Opportunity Description

Enhancing the Opportunity


Scope of Restructuring the business


As widely discussed in the report, the majority of changes and objectives for British Airways have been impacted due to the on-going pandemic crisis which has depleted travel demands drastically. Therefore, the airlines' company has a scope of restructuring its business model to survive the impact. The restructuring essentially calls for

· Consolidation of the workforce using voluntary redundancies and permanent job losses (Chowdhry, 2020).

· Parting away with assets (mostly aircraft fleets) that are deemed non-essential to improve liquidity situation for future purposes (Chowdhry, 2020).

The airlines have been in constant discussions with the Trade Union and worked out on negotiations that enhance the scope of restructuring for the company (Chowdhry, 2020).

As against initially proposed job-cuts of 12000 employees, the company has decided that 6000 of its employees will concede voluntary redundancy and the job cuts for pilots will be capped at 270 (Georgiadis, 2020).

The above move increases the opportunity for British Airways to survive the pandemic impact without affecting the brand image.


Restoring the faith of customers in travelling during COVID-19 times.


British Airlines has a huge brand legacy which is being effectively capitalized in convincing its customers for resuming essential travel via airlines with faith and trust.

The company has made intense efforts both on-ground and on-board to ensure safe and hygienic travels (British Airways Plc, 2020).

The opportunity has been enhanced by giving the customers flexibility of making changes in travel plans without them incurring additional charges (British Airways Plc, 2020).

Reference List for British Airways Risk Register

Airways, B. (2019). BRITISH AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES ITS 20 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2020. [online] mediacentre.britishairways.com. Available at: https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/pressrelease/details/86/Our-Investment-372/11942.

Airways, B. (2020a). BRITISH AIRWAYS JOINS THE COMMUNITY FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19. [online] mediacentre.britishairways.com. Available at: https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/news/02042020/british-airways-joins-the-community-fight-against-covid-19?ref=TopStory.

Airways, B. (2020b). BRITISH AIRWAYS SAYS FAREWELL TO THE QUEEN OF THE SKIES. [online] mediacentre.britishairways.com. Available at: https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/news/17072020/british-airways-says-farewell-to-the-queen-of-the-skies?ref=HeroStory [Accessed 14 Aug. 2020].

Albers, S. and Rundshagen, V. (2020). European airlines′ strategic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (January-May, 2020). Journal of Air Transport Management, 87, p.101863.

Brinded, L. (2020). Coronavirus: British Airways owner hopes to revive flights at 50% capacity by July. [online] in.news.yahoo.com. Available at: https://in.news.yahoo.com/coronavirus-british-airways-owner-hopes-to-revive-flights-at-half-capacity-by-july-073807092.html.

British Airways (2020a). British Airways Media Centre. [online] Britishairways.com. Available at: https://mediacentre.britishairways.com/.

British Airways (2020b). Latest information | Coronavirus | British Airways. [online] www.britishairways.com. Available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/coronavirus/latest-information.

British Airways (2020c). Six Months Results in Announcement. [online] British Airways, pp.6–8. Available at: https://www.iairgroup.com/~/media/Files/I/IAG/press-releases/english/2020/Interim%20Management%20Report%20for%20six%20months%20to%20June%2030%202020.pdf.

British Airways Plc (2018). Website security | Legal | British Airways. [online] www.britishairways.com. Available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-in/information/legal/website-security [Accessed 14 Aug. 2020].

British Airways Plc (2019). Privacy Policy | Legal | British Airways. [online] www.britishairways.com. Available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-in/information/legal/privacy-policy?source=BOT_privacy-policy [Accessed 22 Aug. 2020].

British Airways Plc (2020). Welcome back on board | Information | British Airways. [online] www.britishairways.com. Available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/the-ba-experience/welcome-on-board?dr=&dt=British%20Airways%20%7C%20Book%20Flights.

Chowdhry, H. (2020). What has led British Airways to Plan Restructuring? [online] kalkinemedia.com. Available at: https://kalkinemedia.com/uk/news/stock-market/what-has-led-british-airways-to-plan-restructuring [Accessed 10 Aug. 2020].

Coleman, A. (2016). The importance of risk management: bottom line-risk management. Farmer’s Weekly, 2016(16021), 34-35.

Georgiadis, P. (2020). Subscribe to read | Financial Times. [online] www.ft.com. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/66a700fa-167a-40b9-9f6b-e32d96da1e10.

Hopkins, J. (2020). British Airways’ owner IAG confirms it is considering undertaking an equity raise. [online] Proactiveinvestors NA. Available at: https://www.proactiveinvestors.com/companies/news/925016/british-airways--owner-iag-confirms-it-is-considering-undertaking-an-equity-raise-925016.html [Accessed 21 Aug. 2020].

Lyons, H. (2020). British Airways Slots at Risk After Massive Layoffs. [online] Airways Magazine. Available at: https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/british-airways-slots-at-risk-after-massive-layoffs/.

Martin, I. (2020). British Airways Expected To Suspend 36,000 Staff After Coronavirus Grounds Flights. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/iainmartin/2020/04/02/british-airways-expected-to-suspend-36000-staff-after-coronavirus-grounds-flights/#155d052a34f1.

Unite the Union (2020). British Airways Stop Betraying Britain. [online] Unite the Union. Available at: https://unitetheunion.org/campaigns/ba-betrayal/.

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