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British Airways' profit slump: how a dose of cold water can do wonders for common sense


There are still a lot of rationality shortfalls in the airline business. Because of their ancestry, it usually it takes a cold shower before airlines wake up to what commercial reality is. And that’s the very good news. It’s why the industry can now potentially adapt to a new level of oil prices – because there is still a considerable shortfall to be made up. British Airways’ quarterly report last week for the period April-June gives a small window into this new world. [573 words]

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Graphs and data:

  • British Airways' average yield vs capacity (RPKs), 2006-2008
  • British Airways operating profit and operating profit margin: 2Q07 to 2Q08
  • Fuel as a proportion of the total cost: FY2004 to FY1Q09
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