BA profits tumble

7 Nov 2008 by Mark Caswell

BA has announced a 91 per cent drop in before-tax profits, and is to cut several short and long-haul services, including Gatwick-Zurich and Heathrow-Kolkata.

The carrier announced before-tax profits of £52 million for the six-month period to September 30, 2008, down from £616 million in 2007. Commenting on the results CEO Willie Walsh said:

“This is a good performance given the incredibly difficult trading conditions. The six month period will be remembered as one of the bleakest on record. The period was hit by a crisis in the banking sector, record fuel prices and several airlines going out of business.”

Walsh added that BA’s annual fuel bill is expected to be up 50 per cent at around £3 billion, and said that the carrier planned to reduce its summer 2009  capacity by one per cent compared with 2008. There were four route cuts announced today for the summer 2009 schedule - services from Heathrow to Kolkata and Dhaka, as well as short-haul routes from Gatwick to Zurich and Dublin.

Walsh also said that BA was on track to to complete the fitting of its new Club World product across the remainder of its 777 fleet by the end of 2009, with all 57 of its 747s already carrying the new seating. He also touched upon the forthcoming launch of BA’s all-business class transatlantic service out of London City to New York, saying that the first Airbus A318 aircraft to operate the route is now in production at Toulouse.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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