Summary of the headline figures
Capacity in October, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 15.0 per cent below October 2000. Traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, fell 24.7 per cent. The reduction in traffic comprised a 36.2 per cent decline in premium traffic and a 22.4 per cent fall in non-premium traffic. Passenger load factor of 63.1 per cent was down 8.1 points on October 2000. Cargo, measured in Cargo Tonne Kilometres, fell by 23.8 per cent.
Trading remains difficult. Traffic volumes for October were at the upper end of expectations but premium traffic remains more heavily affected than non-premium. However, premium traffic declines have become slightly less severe through the course of October, while non-premium declines have remained fairly constant. Capacity reductions during October helped to reduce seat factor declines through the month.
Forward bookings for November indicate a similar traffic decline to October, with the US, Middle East and Japan being the worst affected markets. Early indications for December suggest a slight improvement on November, although the outlook remains volatile.
British Airways announced that it is to combine its two UK regional subsidiaries, creating the second largest regional airline operation in Europe. British Airways Regional (BAR) is to become part of the newly formed British Airways CitiExpress, creating a single entity for its short-haul regional domestic and European network. The combined regional business will have a turnover in excess of £600 million and a fleet of 92 aircraft serving more than 120 routes. The new entity will employ around 3,200 people and carry some five million passengers each year. The airline also confirmed a number of capacity, frequency and route changes.
British Airways entered into exclusive negotiations 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. Negotiations are continuing with a view to reaching an agreement which would allow the future growth and development of WNS, with British Airways still retaining a significant stake in the business.
British Airways announced a new direct route between Manchester and Zurich from October 28. The twice-daily service will operate on a 49 seat Embraer 145 regional jet.
British Airways announced that Concorde services between London Heathrow and New York will resume on November 7, with the first flight for invited guests including UK Government representatives, business leaders, aviation figures and regular customers. Commercial flights resume on November 9 with an initial six times a week return service between London and New York, and from December a weekly service between Heathrow and Barbados.