Monday, May 22, 2006

New India routes drive British Airways profits

London: New routes to India and China have driven British Airways' (BA) annual profits by 21 percent and employees will be paid a bonus of 48 million pounds, new company figures reveal.
The airline said its short-haul business was in profit for the first time in 10 years. Shares in the airline rocketed more than seven percent following the announcement.
BA's operating profit for the year to March 31 rose to 705 million pounds, up from 556 million pounds the previous year.
Industry experts say that a recovery in first and business class traffic and new routes to India and China have helped BA keep planes full, while demand for trans-Atlantic flights was strong. BA also improved its seat or load factor, with fuller planes as demand for air travel grows.
Chief Executive Willie Walsh said the company would continue to focus on cutting costs other than fuel and was confident of avoiding a repeat of last summer's strikes as it negotiates measures to tackle its pension deficit with staff.

21/05/06 Indo Asian News Service/, NY
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