Walsh's pay rises as BA struggles

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) boss Willie Walsh pocketed a six per cent pay rise last year, it emerged yesterday, despite a dismal year for the UK&rsquo;s flag carrier.<br /><br />Walsh&rsquo;s basic salary was &pound;735,000 &ndash; up five per cent from &pound;701,000 the previous year. His pension fund was also topped up to &pound;90,000 from &pound;81,000.<br /><br />The news comes a day after it emerged that Walsh was butting heads with unions over slashing 2,000 jobs, as the ailing airline desperately seeks to restructure. <br /><br />Last month, BA reported record breaking losses of &pound;401m, down from record profits of &pound;922m last year.<br /><br />Andrew Fitchie of Collins Stewart put out a horrendous note on the airline. <br /><br />&ldquo;Current trading is dire,&rdquo; he said, adding that &ldquo;consensus estimates of a &pound;200m operating loss for the year look optimistic; this could at least double if current trading persists.&rdquo;<br /><br />Fitchie went on to say that there was a possibility of significant industrial unrest over the next month, and that BA&rsquo;s merger talks with Spanish flag carrier Iberia were &ldquo;making little progress.&rdquo;