British Airways soars on improving traffic

British Airways’ shares soared 6.5% yesterday as the airline revealed passenger traffic (RPKs) rose 1.3% year-on-year in Sep-2010. The total comprised a 4.3% increase in premium traffic and a 0.7% increase in non-premium traffic. BA noted market conditions “remain as previously anticipated, with strong yield performance in both premium and non-premium cabins”.

British Airways’ premium and non-premium traffic growth (% change year-on-year): Sep-2007 to Sep-2010

Premium demand was down by 7.9% in Sep-2009 and by a similar amount in Sep-2008, meaning the carrier has a long way to go before returning to 2007 levels.

In Sep-2010, passenger capacity, measured in ASKs, was up 0.3% year-on-year, while passenger load factor rose 0.9 ppts to 82.4%. Cargo, measured in cargo tonne kilometres, rose by 1.4%.

Air France-KLM surged 4.8% yesterday, while Lufthansa rose 2.5%.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 05-Oct-2010