Shares: Down

British Airways shares plunged 15 per cent as its disappointing results raised fears that the ongoing recession in Asia will end a four- year industry boom.

BA reported a decline in revenue per passenger of 4.3 per cent, a sign that intense competition is returning to the industry after years in which demand outstripped supply.

An appreciating pound is making it tougher for BA to match competitors' fares and the UK economy is slowing just as growth revives elsewhere on the continent.

BA currently makes 40 per cent of its sales in the UK.

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