Summary of the headline figures
Premium traffic rose by 7.5 per cent in April. Non-premium traffic rose by 6.0 per cent, supported by strong Easter holiday traffic.
Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres rose by 0.7 per cent in April with Revenue Passenger Kilometres rising by 6.2 per cent. Consequently, passenger load factor rose by 3.7 points to 72.6 per cent. In terms of traffic mix by cabin, premium traffic was strong, despite the Easter holiday falling wholly within April. This was driven by longhaul traffic, with shorthaul premium business falling slightly. Non-premium traffic grew more strongly this month than at any time during the last financial year, driven by holiday traffic. Cargo traffic was again strong, with Cargo Tonne Kilometres up 20.6 per cent. Although all regions performed well in cargo, Europe sold traffic saw particularly strong volumes, with the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, Africa and Indian sub-continent regions continuing to benefit from strong volumes. The overall load factor rose by 5.1 points, to 68.6 per cent.
The lower industry capacity growth for the summer schedule will support both yields and seat factors in the summer months. While shorthaul routes continue to be under pressure from low cost carriers, longhaul markets are performing better.
Fuel markets continue to be volatile. Group hedging cover currently stands at 85 per cent for the first quarter and 75 per cent for the full year to March 2001.
British Airways announced the appointment of Rod Eddington as its new Chief Executive, with effect from 1 May.
Alongside five other major world airlines, British Airways announced the formation of a company to create and operate an internet marketplace, linking airlines worldwide with sellers of airline-related goods and services. The company, which will have its headquarters in the United States, will handle approximately $32 billion of the six airlines’ supply chain business annually. The other founding member airlines are American Airlines, Air France, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. British Airways currently has an annual procurement spend of around £3.9 billion, and aims to increase UK orders conducted on-line from 25% to 80% by March 2002. Total annual spend savings from procurement initiatives are forecast to reach £180m by March 2002.
British Airways and Amadeus announced a new partnership which will transfer management of British Airways’ flight booking, departure control, inventory and related information systems to Amadeus. This move will free British Airways’ internal resources to focus on IT developments, including internet based opportunities, which will provide competitive advantage, as well as reducing costs and operating a common system with several oneworld alliance partners.
British Airways teamed up with GetThere.com, the leading supplier of internet-based business-to-business travel systems in the US, to launch a new on-line business travel management system for small and medium sized companies in the UK. The private access website will be available to travel agents for their medium to small sized corporate clients and also to corporate customers who wish to book directly.
British Airways announced that it had entered into a period of exclusive negotiation with Taitbout Antibes BV, a European financial institution, regarding the sale of its 86 per cent holding in Participations Aeronautiques, the parent company of Air Liberté.
Following extensive consultation with trade bodies and travel agents, British Airways announced the payment levels for the agents’ remuneration scheme, which replaces the standard seven per cent commission payment. This scheme comes into effect on 1 January 2001. Payments are higher for longhaul than for shorthaul, and for full fare flexible tickets than restricted tickets to reflect the increased workload.