BA posts £164m loss for April-June quarter

Disruptions caused by cabin crew strikes and the Icelandic volcanic ash dragged British Airways into the red, forcing it to report a pre-tax loss of £164 million for the period of three months ended June, despite an improving performance.

The London-based airline reported an operating loss of £72 million for the April-June quarter as compared with an operating loss of £94 million in the year ago period.

BA said cabin crew strikes and ash cloud disruption cost the company around £250 million between the start of April and end of June.

Nevertheless, BA boss Willie Walsh is optimistic about future trading. He said the airline would swing back profit this year by recording a profit for the full year. He said that the airline was experiencing a considerable recovery in cargo volumes.

Speaking on the topic, Mr. Walsh said, “July bookings are ahead of where they were last year and in 2008, both in premium and non-premium seats. Future bookings are also ahead of last year.”

Business customers have again started opting for expensive, flexible tickets as the recession has already passed.

Meanwhile, the Pensions Regulator has sanctioned the recovery plans of the airline to take its pension scheme back into balance. Currently, BA is suffering a deficit of £3.7 billion.

Shares in BA gained 3.9 pence to close at 219.9 pence-a-share.