Capacity in April, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 11.7 per cent below April 2001. Traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, fell 10.8 per cent. The reduction in traffic comprised a 3.4 per cent decline in premium traffic and a 12.4 per cent fall in non-premium traffic. Passenger load factor of 69.4 per cent was up 0.7 points on April 2001. Traffic volumes reflect the occurrence of Easter mainly in March this year, rather than April as in 2001. Cargo, measured in Cargo Tonne Kilometres, fell by 6.0 per cent.
Underlying traffic levels continue to be stable, as in previous months, with seat factor improving slightly on April 2001.
Around 65% of group fuel costs for the year ended March 31, 2003 are currently hedged. The total fuel bill is currently expected to be some £100 million lower than the previous year.
British Airways CitiExpress, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Airways, unveiled the outcome of a Future Size and Shape review to ensure the profitability of its services at airports throughout the UK. The measures are designed to reduce further the cost base of the regional operation and deliver annual savings of £20 million by 2004. The net result of simplifying the business and removing complexity from the operation will mean employing the equivalent of 500 fewer people in two years time.
British Airways launched a change to its fare structure on key routes within the UK to give business travellers and holiday makers lower fares, greater flexibility and more choice. From 5 April Saturday night stay and advance purchase restrictions were scrapped on all domestic routes in and out of London, representing savings of up to 70 per cent on some journeys. New lower year round fares have been introduced with prices from £69 for a return to Edinburgh, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow and £79 for a return to Aberdeen. A further £5 discount is available on tickets booked on ba.com.
British Airways chief executive Rod Eddington urged governments to help pull the aviation industry out of a “time warp” of regulation and protectionism. Mr Eddington said the aviation markets have to be liberalised and modernised if the industry is to have a buoyant future. Mr Eddington also called for the European Commission to negotiate air service agreements on behalf of all member states, starting with the all-important US agreements. The move would increase competition and facilitate consolidation of the industry in Europe, he said.
British Airways has signed a deal with Warburg Pincus for the private equity investor to acquire a majority shareholding in World Network Services (WNS), the airline’s India-based data management company. Under the terms of the transaction Warburg Pincus will acquire a 70 percent stake in WNS, including certain UK assets of Speedwing International Ltd. British Airways will retain a 30 percent shareholding in WNS.
British Airways announced that it will be the official carrier of the England football squad until 2004 for both the World Cup and the European Championships in Portugal.