Although British Airways has been fighting with its own set of problems, the flag carrier was finally able to give its shareholders the first piece of good news this year. The good news came after reporting an improvement in passenger volume and fewer empty seats in July.
Despite the good news for British Airways, premium traffic continues to slide as many business passengers are looking to downsize to economy in order to save money during the recession. The overall gains for the company would have been much stronger had premium traffic not continued on this downward slide. The premium traffic for the company fell by 11 percent. The revenues per kilometer flown actually rose by one percent during the month. This is the first gain since April. This was helped out by a 3.5 percent gain in the economy class.
British Airway is currently trying to reap the rewards of capacity cuts, which has their planes flying 84.6 percent full. This is a year on year improvement of 3.1 percent. The group head of investor relations for British Airways, George Stinnes, said that the summer was now looking good, but the airline has no way of knowing what will happen in September. This just happens to be one of the most important months for the carrier.
George went on to say that underlying volumes and seat factors stabilized during the first quarter. They are expected to improve in the peak of the summer months. Since passengers are starting to book much later, it is hard to see what kind of month the airline will have in September.