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Wednesday, 4 December, 2002, 16:41 GMT
BA cheers 'stabilised outlook'
British Airways planes
BA said the travel industry remains uncertain
British Airways has confidently predicted a steadier future for its balance sheet after reporting a rise in passenger numbers last month.

The UK airline group, hit by a severe fall in passengers following September 11, said it carried 99,000 more passengers in November that at the same time last year, an increase of 3.5%.

But the figures were being measured against one of the group's most difficult months of trading following the terror attacks on the US.


Although the travel market remains subject to global economic and political uncertainty, the revenue outlook has stabilised

British Airways
Passenger numbers since the start of the group's financial year in April are down 4.3%, compared with a year before, while its traffic figures are 5.4% lower.

"(We) are very aware of what's happened out there in the world which may be having an impact on people's medium-term planning for their travel needs," said a spokeswoman for the group.

The company also revealed on Wednesday that it had launched an urgent investigation after part of a Concorde tail rudder fell off during a flight from London to New York.

Stable prospects

However, the group maintained the positive tone of its recent profit results and said its recovery strategy - called "future size and shape" - was delivering results.

The group has seen airline capacity cut by 10% through the strategy, with more than 8,000 jobs axed.

Last month it reported a leap in profits to 245m for the three months to September, compared with just 5m the year before.

Future size and shape has also seen BA introduce more cheap flights, move routes from London's Gatwick airport to Heathrow, and cut fuel costs by almost one third.

The airline said on Wednesday: "Although the travel market remains subject to global economic and political uncertainty, the revenue outlook has stabilised."

Blue skies ahead?

BA is still planning to axe a further 5,000 jobs and said it would "reduce its cost base and work assets harder".

At the same time, the company has been forced to launch an immediate investigation after it was discovered that part of Concorde had fallen off during a high speed flight into New York on Wednesday.

This is the fifth rudder failure on a BA Concorde since 1989, despite changes to inspection procedures.

BA shares closed 4p lower at 160p on Wednesday.

The shares fell below 95p in October.

See also:

05 Nov 02 | Business
05 Nov 02 | Business
04 Nov 02 | Business
08 Sep 02 | Business
20 May 02 | Business
30 Nov 01 | Business
02 Sep 02 | September 11 one year on
13 Feb 02 | Business
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