British Airways owner expects Olympics to hit premium traffic

Marion Dakers
BRITISH Airlines owner IAG reported a six per cent jump in like-for-like passengers numbers for June yesterday.

But the firm, which is running an advertising campaign urging Britons to stay in the country during the Olympics, repeated its forecast that the Games will dampen premium traffic figures during the summer.

IAG said it carried 5.05m passengers in June, up 11.6 per cent, or 6.1 per cent once it strips out the boost from new routes introduced during the year.

Measured in revenue passenger kilometres, traffic rose by an underlying 5.9 per cent.

Group premium traffic grew by 5.3 per cent compared to the previous year, with 9.6 per cent growth in non-premium traffic.

Custom from domestic passengers, which includes Brits and Spanish flyers using sister firm Iberia, rose 25.4 per cent on a year ago to 1.16m thanks in part to new routes from Madrid and the acquisition of BMI.

Iberia reported an overall 3.2 per cent rise in revenue passenger kilometres to 4.47bn, while British Airways fared even better with a 7.1 per cent like-for-like rise to 11.31bn.

But the group’s cargo operations continued to experience weakness, with cargo tonnes carried falling an underlying 0.6 per cent to 507m kilometres last month. The fall widens to 2.3 per cent in the year to June.

IAG’s overall load factor, a measure of how full its flights are, rose an underlying one percentage point to 76.1 per cent.

Budget carrier Ryanair has reported a 6.3 per cent jump in passenger numbers in June compared to a year ago. The Irish airline said it carried 7.79m passengers last month, on a flat load factor of 84 per cent.