British Airways is to sell 11 of its 15 Boeing 757 aircraft for cargo conversion with the aircraft leaving the airline’s mainline fleet between 2010-2012.
Merger talks between British Airways and Iberia are making little headway despite reassurances from both sides of an imminent tie-up, according to sources within both airlines.The number of problems to be resolved before the merger can proceed is far bigger than the respective heads Willie Walsh and Fernando Conte have revealed. A deal is unlikely to be struck before the summer, reports the Times newspaper.
The UK government would not hinder British Airways becoming a Spanish company as a result of a merger with Iberia, according to Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon. With BA and Iberia close to agreeing merger terms, it is thought that the airlines would continue to operate as separate brands under a new operating company. However, it is unclear whether this parent company would be based in Spain or in Britain.
British Airways has announced a change to its summer schedule that sees services from Heathrow to Dakar and Kolkata, and from Gatwick to Dublin, Zurich and Geneva suspended. It is also launching a new service twice weekly service from Heathrow to Toulouse and a daily service from Heathrow to Atlanta, Georgia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.