BA profit rise defies air travel downturn

British Airways has revealed a huge
rise in pre-tax profits, with the figures at £245m for the second quarter of
2002, despite a downturn in the airline business.

The three month pre-tax figures
compare to just £5m for the same period last year and take the results for the
year so far to £310m.

Chief executive Rod Eddington
attributed the success to the programme of cost cutting which was initiated
after September 11.

This included staff reductions of
about 8,180 since August 2001, and a new pay deal with engineering staff and
cabin crew.

"Our Future Size and Shape
business strategy focuses on reducing costs, removing complexity and
restructuring our shorthaul business," said Eddington.

Staff reductions are expected to
grow even further, reaching a total of 13,000 by March 2004.

Ross Wigham

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