In June 2003, overall load factor rose 1.3 points to 70.3 per cent. Passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 3.1 per cent above June 2002 and traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, was higher by 5.8 per cent. This resulted in a passenger load factor up 2.0 points versus last year, to 76.8 per cent. The increase in traffic comprised a 2.5 per cent reduction in premium traffic and a 7.3 per cent increase in non-premium traffic. Cargo, measured in Cargo Tonne Kilometres, fell by 1.2 per cent.
For the April to June quarter, ASKs rose by just 0.1 percent, with RPKs rising by 2.1 percent. This resulted in an increase in passenger load factor of 1.4 points, to 71.8 percent. This comprised a 12.4 per cent fall in premium traffic and a 4.9 percent increase in non-premium traffic. CTKs rose by 0.2 per cent
Traffic is gradually improving from the lowest levels seen earlier this year largely driven by last minute bookings that have been stronger than in previous years. Yields continue weak, and the outlook is for revenue in the first quarter to be well down on the previous year. The operating result for the quarter is expected to be marginally positive. The outlook remains fragile with traffic volumes being very sensitive to yield.
As a result of Yen depreciation against sterling, there will be a non-cash accounting profit of £45 million in the first quarter financial results. The loss on disposal from dba (formerly Deutsche BA) of £79 million will be included in the first quarter. Fuel costs for the financial year ending 31 March 2004 are still expected to be approximately £100 million higher than for the year ended 31 March 2003. The company is currently some 45% hedged in quarter two, some 35% hedged in quarter three and 30% hedged for quarter four.
British Airways called for the development of a second runway at Birmingham airport, an extra runway at Edinburgh or Glasgow airport and new passenger terminals at Manchester airport in its response to the government’s regional air studies consultation on UK airports development outside south east England up to 2030. The airline also said any new runway at London Heathrow airport should have between 30 and 60 daily take-offs and landings reserved for extra flights to more UK regional airports.
British Airways welcomed the decision by the Transport Council to grant the European Commission a mandate to negotiate a new air treaty to replace existing bilaterals between the European Union member states and the United States.
British Airways has been named as the “best low cost airline?Ein an annual Guardian newspaper poll. The airline, which restructured its European and domestic fare structure in summer 2002, now offers new reduced fares on more than 180 routes across the continent.
From July 1, 2003 British Airways UK and Jersey reservation and general enquiries telephone lines will be merged into a new number - 0870 850 9 850.