Cargo sales down at British Airways

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Sales were down 28.1 per cent to £128 million at British Airways World Cargo for the first quarter of the financial year.

Managing director Steve Gunning (pictured) said: “The accelerated decline in cargo volumes first experienced in late 2008 continued in the first quarter of the new financial year [to the end of June], but more recently we have seen a stabilisation in demand and some signs of recovery. In addition, the imbalance between air freight demand and supply is reducing which can only be beneficial to the industry as a whole.”

The volumes of  cargo moved, at 1,095 million cargo tonne kilometres, was down 11.5 per cent on same period last year. Cargo capacity for the same period was down 6.5 per cent.

Overall yield (commercial revenue per CTK) decreased by 19 per cent versus last year, driven by lower fuel surcharges and favourable exchange.

Financial controller Sean Doyle said: “Demand for general airfreight in the first quarter of the year has declined across all markets, though our premium volumes have performed relatively well given the economic conditions. Europe, the US and Asia Pacific have been hit particularly hard with yields falling as a result of declining fuel surcharges and over-capacity in the market.”

Parent company British Airways reported a first quarter operating loss of £94m compared to a £35m profit last year.

Group chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We have revised our business plan to address the current situation. Further capacity has been taken out of our flying schedule and, during winter 2010, a total of 22 aircraft will be parked. The delivery schedule for our first six A380 aircraft has been extended by an average of five months with the second six aircraft delayed by an average of two years. We continue to work towards a permanent structural change to our employee cost base, which is essential to our short term survival and long term viability.”

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