British Airways total mainline scheduled capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 11.7% in August.
Total airline scheduled passenger traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), grew in line with ASKs, increasing by 11.6% in August. This resulted in Passenger load factors remaining unchanged at 76.5%, the highest since August last year. The RPK performance exceeds last August’s year on year growth of 4.3%.
Premium traffic in the month grew by 2.8% and growth in the main cabin was 12.8%. Longhaul RPK growth exceeded shorthaul RPK growth by a small amount, at 11.9% and 10.3% respectively.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry published the advice of the Director General for Fair Trading which sets out the basis on which he would recommend approval of the alliance with American Airlines. His advice included the making available of 250 slots at Heathrow and Gatwick, and the suggestion that slots might be sold rather than relinquished without sale. There is a consultation period which runs up to September 4.
British Airways announced firm orders for 59 aircraft in the Airbus A320 family with options on a further 129 for its shorthaul businesses in the UK regions, London Gatwick, France and Germany. The airline also announced firm orders for 16 Boeing 777 aircraft with options on a further 16 aircraft whilst cancelling 5 firm orders and 7 options for Boeing 747-400 aircraft. These orders give the company considerable flexibility in mix and capacity and represent no additional capital expenditure over the next two years other than previously anticipated.
Cabin crew at British Airways Regional voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new pay deal. Of the 455 ballot papers returned, 72% voted to accept the company’s proposals.
British Airways announced its results for the three months ended June 30, 1998. Pre-tax profits were £145 million, up £54 million (59 per cent) on a year ago, excluding one-off benefits. Operating profit climbed by £33 million (24 per cent) to £173 million, driven largely by the company’s Business Efficiency Programme which is on track to deliver £1 billion of annual efficiencies by the year 2000. Passenger yield excluding exchange fell 1.2%, broadly in line with the expectation when BEP was launched. Lower fuel costs and materially reduced losses in the group’s European subsidiaries also contributed positively.
British Airways announced that it will suspend services to Osaka from the end of October. The decision was taken as a result of worsening passenger demand and the continued fall in the value of the Japanese yen. However, the airline remains committed to serving Japan through Tokyo.
British Airways and Malév Hungarian Airlines began code-sharing on Malév’s services between London Gatwick and Budapest from August 10. Members of both airlines’ mileage programmes are also able to earn and redeem miles on the code-share flights.