Rod Eddington: Course Correction?

Rod Eddington may be just the right ticket for troubled British Airways. The new CEO is credited with piloting regional airline Ansett Australia, where he took the helm three years ago, out of the red. In BA, he inherits quite a challenge. The British flagship is expected to lose about $400 million for the year ending in March.

BA figures that Australian-born Eddington, 50, has the people skills to spark up service and lead a turnaround. Staff morale at BA is said to have plummeted under Robert Ayling, the aloof chief executive dumped in March. Ayling may also have alienated regulators, who have blocked BA's proposed alliance with American Airlines.

BA also looks to be a smart move for Eddington. Ayling had already tackled some of the tougher jobs--battling for lower labor costs and starting a switch to smaller, more efficient aircraft. BA is swapping many of its older Boeing 747s for smaller 777s. The shift is controversial, but, if it works, Eddington will be able to claim credit.

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