In November 2003, passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 2.3 per cent above November 2002 and traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, was higher by 7.4 per cent. This resulted in a passenger load factor up 3.4 points versus last year, to 71.8 per cent. The increase in traffic comprised a 2.5 per cent increase in premium traffic and an 8.4 per cent increase in non-premium traffic. Non-premium traffic has benefited from promotional activities principally in the US and the Rugby World Cup in Australia. Cargo, measured in Cargo Tonne Kilometres, rose by 10.9 per cent. Overall load factor rose 3.0 points to 69.7 per cent.
Market conditions continue to point to a more stable outlook for revenue, with traffic volumes remaining sensitive to yield. The longhaul premium volume improvements seen last month continue.
British Airways announced a pre-tax profit of £105 million (2002: £245m) for the three months ended September 30, 2003. The three-month pre-tax figures took the result for the half-year to £60 million profit.
Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge announced his intention to retire as chairman of British Airways at the company’s next annual general meeting on July 20, 2004. He will be succeeded as chairman by Martin Broughton, 56, currently senior independent director who was appointed deputy chairman by the board with immediate effect.
The three year actuarial valuation, to determine the funding position of British Airways’ two main UK pension schemes - Airways Pension Scheme (APS) and the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS) - was completed. The APS surplus of £820 million at the last valuation in March 2000, has fallen to £45 million and the NAPS deficit has risen from £221 million at March 2000 to £928 million at March 2003. The government minimum funding requirement (MFR) is covered in both schemes.
Annual contributions of £26 million for APS are required from November 2003. For NAPS, contributions will increase by £107 million a year to £225 million effective January 2004.
The Concorde fleet was positioned to museums around the world including Barbados, Seattle, New York, Manchester and Bristol.
Glasgow-based Loganair is to operate seven Scottish routes currently served by British Airways’ wholly-owned subsidiary British Airways CitiExpress, between the Scottish mainland and the island communities of Benbecula, Shetland and Stornoway.
The transfer of the routes, together with the lease of four Advanced Turbo Prop aircraft, is part of British Airways CitiExpress strategy to accelerate its move towards an all-jet aircraft operation, simplifying its fleet and taking unnecessary cost from the business. By March next year British Airways CitiExpress, will stop flying its remaining fleet of eight Advanced Turbo Props.
British Airways announced plans to launch services to Algiers from London Gatwick on January 5, 2004. Flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on a Boeing 737. Three new routes to three Italian destinations, Bari, Cagliari and Catania, will also start next summer.
In addition, changes to the bilateral air services agreement between the UK and Libya have enabled the airline to increase its weekly frequency between London Heathrow and Tripoli, from three to four flights, from November 30, 2003. It is hoped to increase services further next summer.