BA looks to frequent flyers

British Airways is looking for a further boost to its recovery from an enhanced frequent flyer programme.

Posting pre-tax profits of £158 million for the first half of 2010 – its first profitable trading period in two years – BA said it is looking to consistency across its Executive Club loyalty programme and American Airlines’ AAdvantage and Iberia Plus schemes to help drive the revenue-based recovery.

The three airlines signed a Joint Business agreement that started trading in October. By combining frequent flyer programmes, the three airlines will be able to provide a superior customer experience and integrated service, as well as more destinations and departure times. These are especially important in regaining the business flyer segment – longhaul flexible fares are still below levels for the same period in 2009.

Chief executive Willie Walsh says “our customers remain our main focus.” Benefits of the merger with Iberia include enhanced frequent flyer benefits, access to more VIP lounges, more competitive prices and better frequencies and connections.

The addition of American Airlines’ to the agreement allows BA to compete more effectively against the Star and Sky airline alliances, especially for transatlantic traffic.

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