British Airways mainline scheduled revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew by 9.6 per cent on a year ago. Intercontinental traffic was up 10.1 per cent outstripping the 6.9 per cent growth in UK/Europe traffic. Premium traffic in the month decreased marginally by 0.2 per cent whilst non-premium traffic was 11.35 per cent higher. Within premium travel, Club World was slightly better year on year and again the best performer. Traffic in the Club Europe cabin was weaker. Premium performance overall compared to last March was affected by the pre Easter holiday week that reduced premium traffic in the last four days of the month.
Mainline scheduled available seat kilometres (ASKs) were up 10.5 per cent resulting in a 0.7 point reduction in the passenger load factor to 73.1 per cent.
Cargo tonne kilometres in the month grew by 0.3 per cent. North Atlantic business was particularly weak with declines in both yield and revenue.
The overall load factor for mainline scheduled services declined by 2.7 points to 68.4 per cent.
For the full financial year ended March 31, mainline scheduled RPK growth of 10.8 percent on ASK growth of 11.8 percent resulted in a passenger load factor of 70.7 percent, down 0.6 points on last year.
Highlights of the month
British Airways has announced its summer schedule including new services to Cuba, and Tashkent and increased frequencies to Buenos Aires, Santiago, Mexico City, Accra, Ghana, Tehran and Cape Town. In short haul frequencies will be increased to Copenhagen, Oslo, Marseille, Ljubljana, Sofia and Budapest. Flights to Perpignan and Stavanger have been suspended. The new schedule will implement the reduction in average ASK growth to 0.6% that was announced at the Investor Day on February 25.
Base Airlines of Holland has become the airline’s10th franchise partner and will offer services between Eindhoven and Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, and Zurich.
British Airways and LOT Polish Airlines announced additional code-sharing and deeper frequent flyer integration. Combined Heathrow to Warsaw services will increase to 35 per week.
Standard and Poors’ has completed its review of the airline’s credit rating and given an A- rating. This is down from the A rating that was held before. No airline has a higher credit rating than British Airways.
A High Court judgment has clarified the law and confirmed the right of airlines to freely exchange slots and the fact that an exchange may be accompanied by financial consideration. The decision was made in the course of a Judicial Review that considered slot exchanges between British Airways and Air UK in 1997.