The carrier has announced profits of £158 million for the six months to September 30. In its interim management report the carrier also said that all of its long-haul fleet will be fitted with the new First seating by the end of 2011.
The £158 million before-tax figure was recorded during what is traditionally the most profitable period of the year for airlines, but nevertheless compares with a loss of £292 million over the same period last year. The turnaround was also achieved with a background of ash cloud and strike disruption over the first half of this year.
The full interim management report has been posted on our forum, and includes the news that BA achieved an operating profit of £370 million in the second quarter of this year, compared to a loss of £17 million for the same period in 2009.
CEO Willie Walsh said that BA’s “concerted efforts to introduce permanent structural change across the airline has led to a reduction in non-fuel costs and a return to profitability”, and confirmed that the first of its cabin crew recruited on new terms and conditions have completed training and will start flying on Monday (November 1).
The carrier also said that 12 of its aircraft have now been fitted with the new First seating, with the rest of its long-haul fleet to be fitted by end of 2011. For more information on the new BA First product, click here.
BA said that it will also bring another of its parked B747 aircraft back into service next summer, to fulfil a planned increase in capacity, and the carrier has also converted options on two more Embraer aircraft to serve Cityflyer operations out of London City (see online news October 19).
On the subject of increased APD charges, which come into effect on November 1 and will see a hike of up to 55 per cent in fees on some long-haul flights, BA said that “We already meet our carbon costs twice over even before these increases”, and warned that “Excessive taxation puts aviation’s social and economic benefits at risk”.
BA has also launched its latest sale, with discounts across all cabins. The promotion runs until November 9, and more details can be seen here.