BA reports £70m loss following profit warning

British Airways has reported losses of £70 million for the nine months to December and anticipates a loss of £150 million over the full year to April, despite remaining in profit on its operations.

The carrier’s nine-month operating profit of £89 million was £655 million down on a year ago, when BA ended the year with record figures. Its overall loss of £70 million compared with a profit of £816 million over the same period in 2007.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh blamed the deteriorating economy and fall in sterling for the poor results.

The carrier issued a profits warning in January and is in renewed talks with unions on cost cutting. Walsh said: “We continue to review every aspect of the business. We have opened discussions with the unions about pay and productivity which is required to improve financial performance.”

Total revenue was up 6.6% for the nine months despite a 2.3 percentage-point fall in the average number of seats sold.

BA’s traffic figures for January revealed a near 14% decline in premium passengers year on year, yet overall traffic was only 1.3% down – half the 2.6% reduction in capacity.

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