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British Airways Blames Downgrading Passengers for Falling Premium Revenue

September 4, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox

British Airways registered another month of falling premium sales, blaming passengers downgrading from premium to economy. The UK’s flag carrier reported an 11.9 percent year-on-year fall in premium-class traffic in August. However, its economy figures rose 1.3 percent. Total passengers carried during the busy month slid 1.7 percent year on year to 3.16 million.

Passenger traffic on Asia-Pacific routes was hardest hit—down 13 percent. Passengers carried on short-to-medium-haul routes in the UK and Europe fell 2 percent. But traffic to the Americas showed marginal improvement.

The figures confirm trends established this year, as BA continues to struggle with a downturn in demand among business travelers.

The airline is also facing competition from budget airlines on its less lucrative short-haul routes in Europe.

BA’s figures came as rival Ryanair announced it had carried 6.88 million passengers across its low-cost network of European routes in August, up 19 percent on August last year. The low-cost carrier maintained its load factor for the month at 90 percent year on year.

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