12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Worst figures since 1980s
British Airways today (May 22) reported a pre-tax loss of £401m for the financial year ending March 31, 2009.
It is the UK's carrier's worst performance since the 1980s and contrasts starkly with its £992m profit for the previous year.
In the results announced today, BA said it had made an operating loss of £220m, including redundancy costs of £78m. This compares with an operating profit for 2007-8 of £878m.
Revenue rose by 2.7% from £8,758m to £9,992m year-on-year but during the 12 months, the airline paid out £3bn for fuel.
Willie Walsh, BA's ceo, said the airline is operating in the "harshest trading environment we have ever faced and, with no immediate improvement visible."
He said more costs would have to be cut and did not rule out more job losses.
But he did not say whether these would be redundancies or natural wastage. The airline, which has shed 2,500 jobs since last summer, already has a recruitment freeze.
BA said in Q4 of its financial year - the three months to March 31 - it lost £331m before tax.
In the period, revenue was down 8.4% to £1.9bn and operating costs rose 13.3% resulting in an operating loss of £309m.
In what was a bad quarter for the airline, passenger revenue dropped by 8% and yields were down 2.5%
Mr Walsh said the airline, hit by falling demand, had changed its focus in Q4 from "driving yields to securing volume as customers became more price sensitive."
He added: "Despite the fall in premium travel, our market share is growing currently and we must maintain this momentum."
BA will also take out 4% capacity this winter compared to 2007-2008, parking 16 aircraft.
Mr Walsh said BA would also reduce costs by not paying any bonuses or pay rises this year.
Staff will also be offered the option of unpaid leave and temporary or permanent part time working and the airline was in talks with trade unions about pay and productivity changes.
Mr Walsh said he was optimistic the US Department of Transportation would grant the application by BA, American Airlines and Iberia for anti-trust immunity in the next six months.
He said this would bring a level playing field for the oneworld alliance, of which the three carriers are members, with the two other major global alliances.
He also said the UK government's decision to double Air Passenger Duty from 2010 would "undoubtedly disadvantage the UK's competitive position within the airline industry."