Growth in British Airways mainline scheduled passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), improved from last month rising by 3.6 per cent against last year. With mainline scheduled passenger capacity (measured in available seat kilometres - ASKs) growing by 8.8 per cent, this resulted in a 3.3 point decline in passenger load factor to 64.2 per cent.
Premium traffic for the month, however, declined by 1.5 per cent although growth in the main cabin of 4.5 per cent showed the largest growth since September 1997.
Cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs) were up 7.8 per cent on last year. The overall load factor was thus down 2.9 points on last year at 62.7 per cent.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
British Airways and Canadian Airlines announced that they are to expand their codesharing partnership with effect from June, to include new flights between London and Ottawa and an additional daily service between London and Toronto.
British Airways also unveiled plans for a strategic alliance in Central Europe with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with LOT Polish Airlines. The two airlines expect talks to lead to opportunities for code-sharing on flights between Manchester - Warsaw and London Gatwick - Krakow as well as on flights beyond London and Warsaw. A first phase of co-operation will include a code-sharing agreement between British Airways` German subsidiary, Deutsche BA and LOT.
British Airways formally opened a new business centre at the Club Europe lounge in Terminal 1 for frequent flyers at London`s Heathrow Airport offering the latest in computer technology. It is equipped with personal computers and modem connections for laptop computers, enabling users to send e-mails and receive documents and access the internet. The facilities also include faxes, phones and printers, photocopying and scanning facilities.
British Airways introduced its first electronic ticketing on an international route. It is available initially on all routes between the UK and Germany with the aim of extending it to other European destinations. New self-service machines have been installed at airports in Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, Munich, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart. E-ticket is also available on all internal German routes with British Airways` partner, Deutsche BA.