In line with British Airways’ strategy, growth in mainline scheduled capacity measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) slowed to 4.5 per cent. Capacity growth will slow further in the coming months to achieve the planned increase of just 0.6 per cent for the full financial year.
Passenger load factor on mainline scheduled services improved by 0.1 points to 68.9 per cent.
Intercontinental traffic growth of 6.1 per cent in April again outstripped performance on UK/Europe routes where traffic fell 2.4 per cent.
Traffic in the premium cabins grew by1.8 per cent with Club World showing modest growth. Traffic in Club Europe was weak. Non-premium traffic was up 5.0 per cent. Combining the months of March and April to normalise the distorting effect of Easter showed an average premium traffic growth of 0.8 per cent.
Cargo traffic in cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs) declined by 4 per cent in April resulting in a 1.5 percentage point decline in the overall load factor for mainline scheduled services.
Highlights of the month
British Airways took delivery of its last Boeing 747-400 aircraft in keeping with the airline’s new strategy geared towards focusing on the most profitable segments of our business and thereby improving returns. Future longhaul aircraft deliveries will be focused on more capital efficient Boeing 777 aircraft which have the same number of premium seats but fewer non-premium seats.
British Airways and the IAM (International Association of Machinists) successfully reached a tentative agreement on a proposed labour contract covering all union staff in the USA. The agreement is currently being voted on by the 1800 USA staff represented by the IAM.
British Airways marked the retirement of its McDonnell Douglas DC10 fleet at Gatwick with a special nostalgic flight to Nice in the south of France. The replacement of the older DC10 aircraft with the more modern Boeing 777 reduces the number of British Airways subsonic long haul aircraft variants to just three - Boeing 777s, 767s and 747s, for the next decade. The airline`s DC10 fleet has been sold and the aircraft are being converted to cargo freighters.
British Airways launched through British Airways Finance (Jersey) LP an issue of Euro 300 million (approximately £200 million) fixed interest perpetual preferred securities. This represented the first Euro denominated issue of its type by a non-financial UK business. The non-voting, cumulative preferred securities will have a fixed coupon of 6.75 per cent. Distributions will be made quarterly in arrears. The securities have no fixed maturity but may be redeemed by the issuer at any time after five years.
British Airways’ Concorde celebrated its 30th anniversary. The occasion was marked by a commemorative flight to Filton in Bristol to re-enact her maiden journey which took place on April 9, 1969.