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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
BA reports fall in passenger numbers
BA aircraft
Business customers have cut back on travel
British Airways has reported a 3.2% fall in passenger numbers in March compared with a year earlier.

The global average was pulled down by a 5.6% fall in traffic on its Americas routes.

But the airline's total revenue was up, even though BA has pushed through notable ticket discounting measures to stimulate demand for air travel in the wake of 11 September.

"Having seen a severe slump in travel in September, October and November, we are now seeing improvement," a BA official told BBC News Online.

Cost cutting

The rise in revenue resulted from recent sharp cuts in costs, including 13,000 job cuts due to be completed by March 2004 and a restructuring of its short-haul operations.

BA has cut its flying capacity by 11.2% over the last year.

Also weighing in on the positive side was a 6% fall in fuel costs during the financial year to 1 April 2002.

The fall in passenger numbers in March was heavier in front of the curtain than behind it, with premium traffic falling 9.2% while the number of budget travellers fell just 2.1%.

For legal reasons, BA was unable to divulge any specific details about its revenue ahead of the release of its full year report on 20 April.

See also:

03 Apr 02 | Business
BA targets budget flights market
13 Feb 02 | Business
Union condemns BA jobs 'butchery'
13 Feb 02 | Business
Profile: British Airways
13 Feb 02 | Business
Can BA make its plan fly?
05 Feb 02 | Business
Ryanair profits fly higher
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