06/08/2001

British Airways perform to expectations

British Airways have announced a pre-tax profit of £40 million compared to a loss of £50 million in the same quarter last year, for the three months to June.

The upsurge in profits was boosted by the £100 million profit British Airways made when it sold its no-frills airline Go in June this year.

However, thanks to the move, BA also recorded a significant downturn in operating profits, which took a dive to £50 million. Compared with £97 million in the same quarter last year, operating profits have practically halved.

BA chairman Lord Marshall said this decline in operating turnover reflected weak market demand as world economic growth slowed, particularly in the US.

Group turnover for the three-month period was down 0.6 per cent, at £2.3 billion and total capacity was cut by 11 per cent, partly due to an 8.6 per cent cut in seats per kilometre.

BA also announced this week that it would renew its controversial plans to seek a tie-up with American Airlines. The airlines said they would ask EU, UK and US regulators to look again at the proposed plans, which opened a two-year battle within the aviation industry when they were first aired in 1996.

Rod Eddington, British Airways’ Chief Executive, said: “The encouraging yield performance shows that our strategy is serving us well and, equally important, is helping us face the difficult market conditions. Improvements to our core business remain our key focus whilst we look to progress our relationship with American Airlines.”

Lord Marshall, British Airways’ Chairman, added: “We are committed to driving forward our strategy. Strengthening our alliances is a fundamental element of this and we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to secure the necessary approvals for our deeper relationship with American Airlines.” (AMcE)

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