Business (class) is grim for British Airways

July 3, 2009

british-airwaysFewer people are “flying the flag” these days.

And British Airways is feeling the pinch — particularly in business class.

The carrier’s latest figures show BA carried 3.8 percent fewer passengers in June than last year, with most of the fall in premium class seats, where traffic dropped by nearly 15 percent.

It’s pretty clear that companies are not about to start shelling out to send their executives on more business class trips and BA expects overall capacity for April to October to be down by 3.5 percent and winter capacity to fall by 5 percent.

Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic has already said it will cut flights over the winter by 7 percent to battle a “bleak” outlook for the industry. It is also cutting jobs.

BA is cutting costs, grounding planes or delaying the delivery of new aircraft.  

The only good news in all of this is probably for those living under the flight paths of the routes being cut.

For the airline industry the prospects are still grim.

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