BA dispute fails to dent numbers

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The Independent Online

British Airways passenger figures held up last month despite fears that the airline's ongoing cabin crew dispute could disrupt travel. BA carried 3,154,000 passengers in August 2010 – only a fraction fewer than the 3,157,000 in August 2009.

There had been concerns that cabin crew strikes might have affected August Bank Holiday travel. But the month passed without any industrial action, with passenger figures suggesting that forward bookings were not badly affected by the threat of strikes.

BA's UK and European route passenger numbers rose 1.8 per cent last month compared with August 2009. North and South America traffic – including the Caribbean – was down 2.9 per cent and Africa and Middle East passengers fell 0.1 per cent.

BA's planes flew 84.4 per cent full last month compared with a 84.7 per cent in August 2009. BA's premium traffic (business and first-class) was down 1.4 per cent, while non-premium fell 3.1 per cent.

A spokesman for the Unite union, which represents BA cabin crew, said: "Today's figures show that a worrying number of passengers, in the key premium sector particularly, continue to book away from BA."