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Published on Thursday, December 6, 2007

BA admits 'weakness' in short-haul premium traffic

British Airways reported “weakness” in its short-haul premium traffic as its unveiled its November passenger figures yesterday.

It said sales were being hit by corporate customers adjusting travel policies on shorter travel sectors.

Bookings are also being affected by the single hand baggage rule, but BA said the end of this rule in January will help this market bounce back.

Long-haul premium markets continue to be strong.

The airline said its guidance on revenue of a 3-3.5% increase for the year is unchanged.

In November, passenger capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres, was 1.6% above November 2006.

Traffic, measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres, rose 2.4%., which resulted in a passenger load factor up 0.6 points versus last year, to 73.1%.

The increase in traffic comprised a 5% increase in premium traffic and a 1.9% rise in non-premium traffic.

Meanwhile, BA has appointed Tony McCarthy in the role of director for people.

He joins the airline on December 10 from Royal Mail where he was group director people and organisational development.

Before that he spent almost 25 years with BAE Systems and held a range of human resources roles, including the post of group HR director.

By Bev Fearis

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