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British Airways considers meal charges for short flights, reports suggest

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British Airways passengers could be charged for meals on short-haul flights to help the airline compete with budget rivals, according to media reports.

It has been widely reported the airline is considering ending its long-held policy of free food and drinks.

New chief executive Alex Cruz is looking at the option as a way of enabling cheaper headline fares, the reports suggest.

British Airways said the reports were "complete speculation".

The Independent said the meal changes could include bringing in Waitrose as a supplier of high-quality snacks.

Mr Cruz took over at British Airways last month after running the company's sister airline Vueling.

He has experience at budget airlines, having founded Spanish low-cost carrier Clickair in 2006, which later merged with Vueling.

A British Airways spokesman said: "We are constantly reviewing every element of the experience our customers receive, including the in-flight catering, to ensure we're delivering what they want.

"Everything we do is with our customers in mind and we will make changes that reflect their feedback."

Revenue declined 1% at British Airways last year to £11.6bn, although operating profit increased 41% to £1.4bn.

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