British Airways sees its July passenger traffic fall

British Airways (BA) carried 2.6 per cent fewer passengers in July compared with the year before and said it expected summer traffic volumes to be lower than last year.

BA carried 3.19m passengers last month, down from the 3.21m in July 2009, while its load factor -- a measure of how well it fills its planes -- fell 0.6 percentage points to 84 per cent, it said yesterday.

It said that first and business-class travel -- the most profitable part of its passenger business -- rose 0.8 per cent but that non-premium traffic dropped 3.2 per cent.

“Year-on-year we’d expect to see business [class] slightly weaker in August ... due to promotions that were running last year and because higher prices are leading to a slowdown in volumes,” said BA’s group treasurer George Stinnes.