British Airways (BA) is to cut an additional 1,200 jobs after it reported a pre-tax loss of £292 million for the six months to the end of September.

This is the first time the airline has reported a loss in the first half of the year, which is usually buoyed by the summer holidays. In the same period last year, it reported a £52 million profit. BA said revenue over the six-month period was down 13.7% to £4.1 billion, compared with £4.75 billion in 2008.

The announcement of the extra job cuts will bring the total reductions to 4,900 by 2010. Most of the new losses will be overseas and follow a high response from staff wanting to work part-time or take voluntary redundancy, the airline said.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh said: “The global airline industry is facing continued pressure on yields highlighting a significant shift in the industry. We will introduce further structural change in the second half to secure the long-term future for our business.”

The airline said it has seen an excellent response to its new charges to book seats more than 24 hours before the flight, and bookings for its new London City to JFK all-business flights are ahead of expectations.

“Premium leisure demand has been strong during the past six months and we’re investing in more leisure destinations with six new routes starting this winter,” added Walsh.