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BA and Iberia on brink of merging

6 March 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has dropped its strongest hint yet that its proposed merger with Iberia is imminent, saying there is only one outstanding issue to be resolved before the deal can proceed.Chief executive Willie Walsh confirmed a number of hurdles had been overcome, including the BA’s pension deficit and the chairman and chief executive roles. Most importantly, the share of ownership has also been agreed - this was earlier seen which as the biggest challenge due to the recent slump in BA’s share price, leading to Iberia pushing for an equal equity split.

BA to cut costs as losses extend into 2010

6 March 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has said it is planning further cost reductions as it faces up to the prospect of a second consecutive year of losses.Updating shareholders, the carrier said it is predicting an operating loss of about £150m in the next financial year to the end of March 2010, excluding severance costs. The losses would be similar to those already forecast for the current financial year.

Downturn and snow force slump in BA passengers

4 March 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has reported a sharp fall in passenger traffic for February as the downturn and heavy snowfall forced a rise in cancellations.Total passenger numbers fell by 10.1 percent compared to February last year. Economy passenger numbers were down 5.5 percent, whilst premium was hardest hit, down 20 percent.

Investigation begins into BA London City crash landing

16 February 2009 Press Release Airline News

The investigation has begun into the British Airways Avro RJ100 plane which emergency landed at London City Airport after it lost its front wheels on landing. The crash was the second such incident at London City airport in ten days, following the closure of the runway on 5 February because of a bent nose wheel.

Fears mount over BA’s debt status

12 February 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has had its debt reduced to junk status by credit rating agency Moody’s over mounting fears of its rising investment cost and weakening passenger demand.The downgrade also comes in the wake of BA’s warning that it would make an operating loss of ?150m this year compared to a previous estimate of break even.

Pensions regulators no barrier to Iberia mergers, says Walsh

9 February 2009 Press Release Airline News

Willie Walsh has said that British Airways does not need clearance from its pension regulator for its planned merger with Iberia.“There is no cash involved - it is an all-share merger. We don’t see any issue with our trustees. This will lead to a stronger company,” Walsh told The Times newspaper.

BA losses widen as premium dives

6 February 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has warned of widening losses as the downturn, weakness of sterling and high fuel prices erode its cash-cow premium market.The UK flag-carrier saw pre-tax losses slump to £70m for the nine months to 31 December 2008, down from a £816m profit for the same period the year before.

BA debt downgraded to "junk" by S&P

28 January 2009 Press Release Airline News

Hot on the back of its profit warning, British Airways has suffered a further blow, this time from ratings agency, Standard & Poors, which has downgraded the airline’s debt rating to “junk status”.S&P said it was placing the carrier’s debt rating on “credit watch with negative implications”, only one level above its non-investment grade.

BA warns of widening losses

26 January 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has issued a profit warning, saying it would make an annual operating loss of around £150 million after costs rose by more than expected, compared to a forecast repeated earlier this month of a small operating profit.The principal culprit was currency movements, which the airline blamed for an 8% year-on-year rise in non-fuel costs, compared to previous guidance of 5%.

BA to introduce inflight texting and broadband

26 January 2009 Press Release Travel Technology News

British Airways is to roll out inflight mobile phone technology, starting with its new business-class only London City Airport - New York JFK route in autumn.Passengers travelling on the twice-daily route will be able to send and receive texts and emails during the flight, as well as access broadband through their laptops. However the carrier has held back on introducing voice calls to gauge customer feedback over air rage concerns.

BA puts breaks on OpenSkies to raise cash

23 January 2009 Press Release Airline News

British Airways has put its OpenSkies expansion plans on hold and is instead divesting aircraft in its mainline fleet that had previously been earmarked for its new offshoot airline.

BA’s Walsh reignites spat with unions

23 January 2009 Press Release Airline News

The ongoing conflict between British Airways and its cabin crew looks set to be reignited after chief executive Willie Walsh said that pay increases this year would be restricted to less than one percent.The pay deal for cabin crew ends this month, and Mr Walsh said that the new deal for 2009 would be based on the UK’s retail price index in December, which was 0.9 percent.