In June 2009, British Airways passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 1.7 per cent below June 2008. Traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, fell by 3.8 per cent. This resulted in a passenger load factor decrease of 1.8 points versus last year, to 79.6 per cent. Traffic comprised a 14.9 per cent decrease in premium traffic and a 1.3 per cent fall in non-premium traffic.
Cargo, measured in Cargo Tonne Kilometres, fell by 9.8 per cent.Market conditions continue to be very challenging with trading at levels well below last year. However on an underlying basis both premium and non-premium volumes and seat factors have now been stable for more than three months.
In response to the challenging economic conditions British Airways has reviewed its business plan. Capacity for the current summer period (April to October) is now expected to be down 3.5 per cent (previously 2.5 per cent), with capacity in the winter down 5 per cent (previously 4 per cent). The remaining three mainline Boeing 757 aircraft will be grounded in summer 2010 and a further three Boeing 747-400s in winter 2010. The delivery schedule for the first six Airbus A380 aircraft has been extended by an average of five months with the first delivery still due in 2012. The schedule for the remaining six A380s has been extended by an average of two years with the final aircraft arriving in 2016. Forecast capital expenditure has been reduced from £725m to £580m for 2009/10 and is likely to remain at that level in 2010/11. As previously indicated Equivalents (MPE) are targeted to be reduced by some 3,700 in 2009/10 - this is in addition to the reduction of around 2,500 achieved between June 2008 and March 2009.
Some 7,000 British Airways employees have volunteered for schemes in support of the airline’s cost reduction programme. Their actions will save the company up to £10 million.
British Airways announced that its new business class service from London City airport to New York will launch on September 29, 2009. Tickets for the twice-daily flights on a specially configured 32-seat Airbus A318 are now on sale.
This winter, British Airways will launch extra flights from Gatwick to Bermuda, Barbados, St Lucia and Port of Spain. Gibraltar, Malaga and Pisa flights will move from Gatwick to Heathrow and flights from Gatwick to Alicante, Barcelona, Krakow, Madrid, Malta and Palma will be suspended.