British Airways reports December passenger drop

by Alister POOLE on January 7, 2011

British Airways is the latest business to fall victim to December losses after severe weather left travel companies and retailers in the lurch.

The country’s premiere carrier said that widespread delays and cancellations had led to an 8.3 per cent drop in passenger numbers that could cost the firm nearly £50m. British Airways, however, is not alone in its struggles as many businesses across the UK suffered from the severe wintry weather.

The airline also said that it had seen a drop in its cargo business as well. Cargo transports for the carrier fell more than 10 per cent compared to 2009 levels. The airline was forced to cancel hundreds of flights as icy runways prevented planes from taking off.

In similar news, British Airways confirmed a nearly £3.2bn order for Rolls-Royce engines to complement its order of several Airbus A380s. The contract first came about in 2007, but the carrier recently began to move forward with the purchase.

The order is placed in spite of the engine-maker’s recent controversy after a Rolls-Royce engine caught fire forcing a Qantas A380 to emergency land in Singapore. Qantas has since investigated the issue, which led to a temporary grounding of its A380 fleet as a preliminary precaution.

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