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BA announces record loss

Operating loss of £220 million

May 22, 2009

BA planes

British Airways has today announced the biggest loss since its privatisation in 1987, with the company suffering an operating loss of £220 million in the year April 1, 2008-March 31, 2009.

In reflecting on the losses, British Airways' chief executive Willie Walsh said: "Reduced passenger and cargo demand and high fuel prices last summer contributed to our £220 million operating loss as our total fuel bill reached almost £3 billion.

"The prolonged nature of the global downturn makes this the harshest trading environment we have ever faced and, with no immediate improvement visible, market conditions remain challenging. It is vital, therefore, that we remain absolutely committed to our plans to establish British Airways as a high-performing, market-focused, global premium airline."

In order to mitigate the effects of the economic slump, Mr Walsh identified a number of measures the company is set to take in the year ahead.

"In addition to reducing external spend and not paying management bonuses, there are no base pay increases planned and we are offering staff the option of unpaid leave and temporary or permanent part time working.

"While we focus on the immediate situation by reducing costs, investing in improved customer service is vital. With increasing competition and more consumer choice, we need to guarantee our future competitiveness by ensuring that we offer customers excellent service throughout their journey."

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