British Airways has reported its first profit in two years.
The airline made a profit before tax of £158 million during the first half of this financial year.
During the same period in 2009, the airline made a loss of £292 million.
Willie Walsh, BA’s CEO, said a £345 million increase in revenue (an 8.4% increase year-on-year) was down to a 17.2% improvement in yields.
Over the six months to September, passenger revenue was up 7.9%, on capacity down 6.2%, compared to the same period in 2009.
The airline is planning to add capacity for next summer, bringing back into service a parked Boeing 747 aircraft.
Non-fuel costs were down 3.1%, but a 2.4% increase in the price of fuel meant an overall drop of only 1.5%.
Walsh said the drop in non-fuel costs was due to “concerted efforts to introduce permanent structural change across the airline”.
The announcement comes as a resolution to the lengthy dispute over pay and working conditions with BA cabin crew looks hopeful.
BA has proffered a fresh deal, which the union Unite plans to put to a ballot.
A deal has already been agreed with terminal-based staff, and Walsh said the first of the cabin crew recruited on new terms and conditions have completed their training and started flying earlier this week.
The airline is also in the final stages of securing a merger with spanish airline Iberia.
Shareholders were given regulatory information this week, ahead of a meeting on November 29 where the two airlines will seek a vote for final approval. The merger is likely to complete in January 2011.