BA shares hit as Heathrow chaos drags on

Marion Dakers
SHARES in British Airways plummeted yesterday thanks to the major disruption to its flights from Heathrow.

The firm, which is Heathrow’s biggest operator, cancelled 70 of its 130 flights out of the airport yesterday, leaving thousands stranded.

BA is currently losing up to £10m a day, according to analyst estimates – close to the losses suffered when all flights were grounded during the Icelandic volcanic eruption in April.

“We have BA down to deliver revenues of around £27m a day in this quarter so assuming some 70 per cent of that is fixed cost it is probably losing about £8m a day of profit,” said Davy Stockbrokers analyst Stephen Furlong, adding that the majority of BA’s profit comes from its Heathrow operations.

“It depends on the percentage of longhaul flights BA have operated but I think they are probably losing around £10m a day,” said Oddo Securities analyst Yan Derocles.

A spokesperson for the airline said it was too early to calculate the costs. “Our priority is to fly as many customers as we can before Christmas,” he said.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond told Parliament yesterday that the late night flying rules would be relaxed to ease congestion.

Eurostar is also expected to be hit hard by the weather.

Thousands of passengers queued outside St Pancras station yesterday to get a train to Europe after cancellations at the weekend.

BA shares closed down 1.85 per cent at 265.2p yesterday.