British Airways’ website, ba.com, broke its previous records this week as it sold a new seat every two seconds.
The online booking record followed the launch of a new four day-long ticket sale last weekend to promote discount fares for the coming months.
The sale was part of an ongoing “Big sorry. Small prices” campaign aimed at reassuring and winning back customers following the disruption caused by the unofficial industrial action at Heathrow in July.
The record figures come as British Airways reported passenger numbers for July 2003 were only slightly down on the previous July, despite the difficulties faced at Heathrow during the month.
Martin George, British Airways director of marketing, said: “We already carry more passengers across the UK and Europe to more destinations than any other British based airline and now regularly sell more than 40 per cent of our shorthaul leisure fares online.
“Ba.com is increasingly popular with our customers and more than 11,500 online bookings in one day breaks all previous records.
“Given that each new booking on average contains three seats we sold more than 34,500 seats via ba.com during the busiest day of the four day sale.
“August is a quieter booking month normally as many people are away on holiday so we were delighted to see such booking levels this week.”
The top five destinations sold during the four days were New York (JFK), Kingston, Miami, New York (Newark) and Orlando.
The previous best day of sales on ba.com was 10,367 new bookings during a promotion in February 2003.
The airline’s website now accounts for more than 42 per cent of all shorthaul point to point leisure bookings, which has more than doubled from 18 months ago.
British Airways will continue to introduce a number of promotions during the coming months many of which will build on the success of ba.com.