Struggling with virus’ impact, British Airways to sell art collection

LONDON: British Airways is selling off artworks thought to be worth millions of pounds as the troubled airline seeks to raise funds as it struggles through the coronavirus crisis, it was claimed Thursday.

A collection of work by artists including Damien Hirst, Bridget Riley and Peter Doig, which have previously been displayed in the airline’s lounges, are expected to be put up for sale.

Some of the works are thought to be worth at least £1 million each.

A British Airways spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the sale, but officials with knowledge of the matter said it was having some of its artwork valued as it seeks to prevent job losses because of the pandemic fallout.

Last month, the airline’s owner IAG reported a net loss of €1.68 billion in the three months to the end of March.

News of the sharp loss came just days after IAG outlined plans to axe up to 12,000 BA staff, as it struggles to cope with evaporating demand for air travel.

And it said passenger demand will take years to recover to 2019 levels.

London’s Evening Standard newspaper, which first reported news of the art sale, said auction house Sotheby’s had been brought in to arrange any sell-offs.