British Airways passenger numbers down 8% in January

British Airways continued to suffer dwindling passenger numbers in January as heavy snowfall wreaked havoc in the UK and Europe and economic misery kept would-be fliers on the ground.

The airline saw overall traveller numbers fall 8% in the month compared to the year before - much lower than the 3.3% decline seen since April - as financial woes continued to hurt consumers.



In the UK and Europe the effects of the winter chill added to the pain and continued to cause disruption at the beginning of the month. BA said the snowy weather particularly hit the volume of transfer passengers carried.



Passenger numbers for the region saw the greatest January reduction, down 8.7%, and have fallen 4% in the financial year so far.



Other parts of the world also saw steep falls in January, driven by continuing economic pressure and cuts in BA's capacity, which was 8.3% below the previous January.



The Americas spiralled to an 8% reduction in passengers, from a 0.8% decline across the year.



Africa and the Middle East, which is up 1.4% in the period since April, fell 5.1% in January.



But the Asia Pacific region saw an upturn from drops of 15% in the year so far, to be down 8.6% in January.



It said it had proposed a "radical" extension to its partnership with struggling Japan Airlines, which would involve setting up a joint business for flights between Japan and Europe.



The airline has launched a sale on its premium seats until February 9 - with discounts in first class including fights to Los Angeles starting at £2,997.



It is also planning to increase the frequency of flights from London City Airport to Majorca and Ibiza during the peak season.

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