Breaking even will be tough this year: BA
Published: 18 Jul 2008：British Airways has shared that it would struggle to avoid losing money this year as its annual fuel bill rises beyond an earlier forecast of ￡3 billion.
BA´s chief executive, Willie Walsh, has already said he would freeze capacity to save money. The national carrier also said increasingly tough economic conditions - with oil prices nudging $150 a barrel - made price hikes of up to four percent "absolutely inevitable."
"This will not be an easy year," Walsh reportedly said.
A BA spokeswoman said: "This is the first time we have had to modify the schedule because of the price of fuel. It is something that is becoming more of an issue for us. Fuel prices do not appear to be going down and we need to be prepared for that. All airlines find themselves in a serious position with fuel."
Passengers have already seen increases in fuel surcharges - the additional costs levied by airlines to cover the rising price of fuel - on tickets this year.
Only two months ago, BA raised its passenger fuel surcharges on short-haul flights from £10 to £13, increasing long-haul flights lasting less than nine hours by £15 each way to £78, and longer journeys by £30 to £109 a flight. However, the continued upward trend in oil prices means these will almost certainly have to rise again.
Negotiations between BA and AMR Corp.´s American Airlines for a deeper alliance on trans-Atlantic routes are continuing, shared Walsh.
"We´ve been talking to them for a long time, our talking continues, there is a lot to talk about," Walsh said. "If we reach a point where we have something to announce we will make the announcement in the normal way, but it won´t be today."