One airline’s weird strategy for raising capital in a pandemic: selling its prized artworks

The sales may not help mend the airline’s reputation -- British lawmakers called it the company a “national disgrace.”


June 15, 2020

Here’s more proof that airlines will do practically anything to plug the giant hole that the coronavirus pandemic punched in their bottom lines: British Airways is selling off paintings from its renowned art collection to keep itself afloat.

A stroke of genius?

The airline has a large collection that includes works by British artists Damien Hirst, Peter Doig, and Anish Kapoor. 

One piece that’s been designated for sale, by Bridget Riley, hangs in BA’s executive lounge at Heathrow airport. It’s been valued “well into seven figures,” one expert told the Evening Standard.

Going once, going twice…scold!

The art sales may help BA shore up its finances, but it can’t paint over its damaged reputation.

On Saturday, British lawmakers labeled the airline a “national disgrace” over the company’s plan to cut 12k jobs.

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