Traffic rebound boosts BA

FLAG-CARRIER British Airways (BA) reported a 1.3 per cent rise in air traffic during September, mainly on the back of a return in business travel, boosting its shares to a new two-year high yesterday.

BA said that its premium traffic – business and first-class passengers – rose by 4.3 per cent, signalling an end to the impact of the summer’s strikes by cabin crew and general malaise of the business traveller.

The airline, which excluding last month has reported consecutive monthly declines in traffic figures, said that overall traffic in the year ending in September was still down by 7.4 per cent.

However, BA flew three million passengers globally during the month, marking a 4.3 per cent rise on the same period last year when 2.9m people flew with the airline.

The passenger figures were boosted by a 6.2 per cent climb in passengers travelling within Europe and the UK, and 6.9 per cent more passengers flying to its African and Middle Eastern destinations.

BA’s shares jumped 6.48 per cent on the positive news yesterday and closed at 245.60p, marking the highest close for the airline in two years. Meanwhile, 82.4 per cent of BA’s flights were full last month, improving on last year when 81.5 per cent of seats on its flights were booked.