British Airways has reported a net loss of £70m in the nine months to December 31. The airline says it has suffered due to the economic downturn and the weaker pound.
At the same time last year, BA made a profit before tax of £816m, and says as it pays for most supplies in dollars, the decline in sterling has made issues such as aircraft leasing more expensive.
In order to improve its profits outlook for the next financial year, BA says it will try to sell more tickets in markets with stronger currencies to enable it to benefit from exchange rates.
As the recession bites, the airline has seen air traffic control and airport charges become more expensive for the airline. The need for increased prices has resulted in passenger traffic declining as customers travel less – passenger numbers were down 4% from January 2008.
However, there has been a 1.4% rise in “non-premium” traffic in January.
In its report, the airline says: “The industry continues to face very difficult trading conditions on the back of a weak economic environment.”
BA has recently changed marketing strategy, offering more special deals to encourage people to fly with them. In November the airline promoted head of sales Andrew Crawley to the new role of head of sales and marketing.