British Airways has dismissed as “complete speculation” media reports that it plans to join budget rivals and start charging for in-flight meals.

The airline was reported to be considering ending its long-held policy of free food and drinks on short haul flights.

New chief executive Alex Cruz, promoted from Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling within the International Airlines Group stable, is looking at the option as a way of enabling cheaper headline fares, the reports suggest.

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

Cruz took over at BA last month, having founded Spanish low-cost carrier Clickair in 2006, which later merged with Vueling.

BA said the reports were “complete speculation”.

A spokesman told the BBC: “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.”