British Airways passenger load factor for mainline scheduled services grew by 2.3 points from last year to 77.5 per cent - the highest level since July 1997. This represented the largest growth in passenger load factor since March 1996.
Mainline scheduled passenger traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) grew by 15.8 per cent on capacity measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) up by 12.4 per cent.
Traffic growth of 17.1 per cent on intercontinental routes outstripped growth of 10.5 per cent on UK/Europe routes. Growth was particularly strong in Africa where services between the UK and Nigeria were resumed at the end of July, and the Americas region where there was some benefit from the strikes at Northwest and at Air Canada. The Asia - Pacific region also showed traffic growth and an improvement in the passenger load factor reflecting the route changes that have been implemented in that area.
Premium traffic in the month grew by 1.9 per cent while the main cabin climbed 18.4 per cent.
For the three months to September 30, traffic growth amounted to 15.0% on capacity growth of 14.9% resulting in a 0.1 percentage point improvement in passenger load factor to 76.5 per cent.
Premium traffic grew 5.9 per cent whilst the main cabin traffic rose by 16.4 per cent. Traffic on intercontinental routes was up by 15.4 per cent with growth on UK/Europe routes of 13.4 per cent.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MONTH
Five of the world’s leading airlines - American Airlines, British Airways, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways - announced a new, customer-driven global alliance.
The oneworldTM brand launches a programme designed to raise the standard of global air travel.
From early next year, the five airlines will together phase in a wide range of initiatives designed to provide greater customer benefits, including more information and support, greater value and increased opportunities for rewards and recognition.
oneworldTM will enable each carrier to offer customers services and products that the individual carriers could not provide alone, responding to changes in the global airline marketplace.
British Airways announced that Rolls-Royce had won the contract to supply the engines to power the new Boeing 777s that were ordered by the airline in August. The British manufacturer will provide up to 64 of its Trent 895 powerplants, carrying a list price of £580 million (US$930 million), to be fitted on the 16 firm orders and 16 options placed for the Boeing twinjets by British Airways. The value of these engines was included in the overall list prices for the new aircraft quoted when they were announced on August 25, 1998.
British Airways and Nigeria Airways announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding over the services between London and Lagos. Under the agreement - which has the approval of the UK and Nigerian authorities - a three times a week Boeing 747-400 service is proposed from Heathrow, starting on November 3. The proposed new service will be operated by British Airways in co-operation with Nigeria Airways.
British Airways announced an increase in services to Cape Town this winter, from five to six flights a week subject to an appeal now pending. The announcement follows a decision by the UK Civil Aviation Authority to award British Airways the right to operate the additional UK / South Africa service available to British airlines.