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BA reports falling passenger numbers

British Airways suffered a near 4% fall in passenger numbers last month compared with June 2007, a five-fold increase on the decline in May.

The airline’s monthly traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, was down 3.7% compared with a year-on-year fall of 0.7% in May, suggesting higher fares and the deterioting economy are taking an increasing toll.

Business traffic showed a lower decline than economy, down by 3.1% compared with 3.8%, and the carrier noted long-haul premium and short-haul economy “continue to be the better performing segments”.

This suggests an overall fall in leisure traffic, particularly on long-haul routes, with corporate travellers switching to economy on short-haul flights.

BA pointed out oil prices have risen by one-third since the beginning of May.

The airline’s average load factor – the proportion of seats sold per flight – was down 3.8% to under 77%.

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