Cabin crew strike costs BA £7m a day

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA) has lost roughly £98m during the last fortnight as a result of the cabin crew strike, which has seen the airline’s passenger capacity fall six per cent.

BA flew 392,000 less customers last month – a 14.2 per cent drop from last year as a result of the strike.

The airline faced 14 days of strikes during May, crippling operations out of Heathrow Airport and costing up to £7m a day.

Monthly figures from BA show that the airline’s passenger capacity, measured in available seat kilometres, was down 4.7 per cent, of which the strike accounted for six per cent of the fall.

Yesterday marked the last day cabin crew took to the picket lines during this current strike period with another five-day period starting tomorrow.

BA said that it plans to operate 80 per cent of long haul and 60 per cent of short haul flights during the next strike period, while maintaining a full flight schedule to South Africa for the duration of the World Cup.

Overall passenger traffic for BA fell by 11.5 per cent, placing it behind rivals Air France KLM and Ryanair.

Last month Air France and KLM, which trade as the same company, saw passenger traffic numbers climb by 4.3 per cent, while capacity remained flat at 0.1 per cent. The group said it carried 6.2m passengers last month and saw a 10 per cent hike in traffic numbers to Asia.

Meanwhile, budget airline Ryanair flew 6.4m passengers in May, marking a 17 per cent increase on last year when it flew 5.5m. Ryanair said the May figure includes up to 250,000 passengers who were due to fly but saw flights cancelled by the closure of European airspace.