Published: 04 Dec 2008: British Airways has reported a 10.8 percent decrease in premium traffic in November over the same month last year.
The figures showed that British Airways carried 2.42 million passengers worldwide during the month, down 7.8 percent on 2007. Its economy traffic fell 4.8 percent. BA´s load factor – which measures how full its planes are – dipped by 2.2 percentage points to 74.4 percent in November, which saw BA cut the number of flights it operated.
According to information on BA´s website, this is the first November in which its premium traffic has declined on year on year since autumn 2001, but the airline said it was still performing in line with expectations.
"Cuts by City banks in their business-class travel contributed to a 10.8 per cent year-on-year fall in the number of premium passengers carried by British Airways last month," reported business.timesonline.co.uk. "Nine of BA´s 20 largest corporate customers are understood to be City banks and the financial crisis has forced them to slash travel budgets. The nine include Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland. Lehman Brothers was also a large BA customer until it collapsed in September. UBS is understood to have recently banned its bankers from travelling business class on flights of less than five hours."
"It´s a significant decline in premium traffic, with the Americas region affected most," reportedly said Geoff Van Klaveren, an analyst with Exane BNP Paribas in London who has an "underperform" rating on the stock. "This shows that the financial crisis is impacting BA now."