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Old July 18th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #161
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UK airport operator BAA's Q1 performance in line

LONDON, July 15 (Reuters) - Britain's biggest airport operator, BAA Plc, said on Friday it was performing in line with expectations for the first quarter of the current financial year.

"Performance in the first three months of the year has been in line with these expectations," Chairman Marcus Agius said in a statement ahead of the firm's annual shareholder meeting.

Agius pointed to BAA's forecast for traffic growth of 3.5 percent at its London airports this year, and growth in net retail income per passenger of more than 1 percent.

BAA, whose seven airports include London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, had previously tipped a "robust" current year despite a slowdown in passenger growth off record highs last year.

BAA shares were up 0.2 percent at 607-1/2 pence by 1055 GMT.

BAA posted strong earnings last year on record passenger numbers and faster check-in drove up retail spending at its airports.

Passenger numbers have been rising as stiff competition from low-cost airlines drives down European ticket prices, while long-haul recovers from a downturn caused by the Iraq war and the outbreak of the SARS virus.

The company has said the impact of last week's London bombings on passenger numbers has been minimal so far.

BAA will face opposition from residents groups at its Friday meeting to plans for a third runway at Heathrow airport and a second runway at Stansted.

Agius warned a delay in building a second runway at Stansted, due for completion in 2013, would have wider implications. Airlines have opposed BAA's proposal to help fund the runway by introducing a levy on passengers at other airports.

"A delay in developing Stansted will result in less choice and higher air fares across the whole of the South East, with knock-on damage to UK economic competitiveness," he said in a speech to shareholders.

He also said construction of a fifth terminal at Heathrow was 60 percent complete and scheduled to open ahead of schedule on March 30, 2008.

BAA makes profits from aircraft take-off and landing fees, car parks, retail rents, airport advertising and duty-free shops. Unlike airlines, it is not exposed to high oil prices which have driven up fuel costs.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 06:26 PM   #162
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I wonder what BAA's long term ambitions are, as I have heard of BAA (which is already the world's largest airport operator), is intending to expand in Asia....


Current extent of BAA in the world:
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Old July 19th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #163
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British Airways says to draw up new planes plan

LONDON, July 19 (Reuters) - British Airways , Europe's second-largest airline, said on Tuesday its board would review plans for new long-haul planes within nine months, though a fleet upgrade could wait several years.

Possible new aircraft include the Airbus A380 double-decker and Boeing Co.'s 777 and mid-sized 787, Chairman Martin Broughton told the airline's annual shareholders meeting.

"We are reviewing the options. A board paper will be coming within the next three months, certainly in the next nine months," Broughton said. "We are in the happy position that we don't need to make a decision yet (on fleet upgrades)."

"They are very much on our radar screen," he said of the 555-seat A380 model, but added that BA would wait to see how the plane performs for other carriers.

New Chief Executive Willie Walsh also addressed the meeting and told investors he expected to adhere to plans for reining in costs.

The former boss at Irish carrier Aer Lingus is set to replace CEO Rod Eddington, who steps down at the end of September to return to his native Australia.

Under Eddington, BA has axed 13,000 staff since 2001 and turned to increased use of online bookings and self-service check-in to improve efficiency.

"It's a strange thing for an Irishman to say about an Australian, but we speak the same language," Walsh told the meeting, referring to Eddington's firm stance on cost-cutting.

He said BA's business plan contained "priorities that I buy into completely", without elaborating.

BA shares were down 0.9 percent at 273 3/4 pence, while London's FTSE 100 index which was 0.24 percent lower at 1259 GMT.

BA is battling low-cost rivals Ryanair and easyJet , which are forcing down fares on short European routes and must contend with struggling U.S. carriers that are driving down transatlantic prices.

It raised its fuel surcharge on tickets bought inside Britain last month after oil prices touched $60 per barrel as it braces for a fuel bill expected to rise by 450 million pounds ($783 million) this year.

BA did not offer details on what impact, if any, recent bombings in London might have on its business.

"The recent atrocities in London serve to remind us of how vulnerable our business has become," the chairman told shareholders.

"However, since 9/11, the company's strategy has been entirely focused on ensuring it is sufficiently robust to withstand such external shocks."

Impediments remained to restarting dividend payments, but the issue was high on the company's agenda, he said.

($1=.5747 pound)
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Old July 19th, 2005, 11:19 PM   #164
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British Airways : Too Early To Assess London Blasts Impact
19 July 2005

LONDON (Dow Jones)--British Airways PLC (BAB) Chairman Martin Broughton said Tuesday it is still too early to assess what impact the recent terrorist attacks in London have had on the U.K. airline.

"The recent atrocities in London served to remind us how vulnerable our business has become. Ever since 9/11, the company's strategy has been entirely focused on ensuring it is sufficiently robust to withstand such external shocks," Broughton said at BA's annual general meeting.

In his pre-prepared speech, Broughton said the lack of a dividend remains an important concern. Broughton said an absence of distributable reserves remains a major impediment to recommencing dividend payments, but said the issue is high on the company's agenda.
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Old July 25th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #165
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The fight for BA's next set of wings
Oliver Morgan on why the omens are not good for Airbus's new superjumbo

24 July 2005
The Observer

Will BA put its money into Airbus 380s, like this one?
. . . or stay with the devil it knows, Boeing?


WANTED : high-performance vehicles to replace ageing models in big fleet operation. Not sure how many, not sure what kind, not sure when.

Despite being vague about what it wants, the fact that British Airways has confirmed it is looking to buy new planes for its long-haul fleet has set pulses racing in the large airline manufacture duopoly.

The timing almost guaranteed that excitement, coming a day before the bitter dispute between US and EU trade authorities over subsidies to American Boeing and European Airbus formally entered litigation proceedings at the World Trade Organisation.

The implications of BA's decision for Boeing and Airbus will be far-reaching; BA is one of the world's most influential customers. But Airbus has nothing to lose: that the three plane types currently in BA's 110-strong long-haul fleet all start with a Boeing 7, meant Tuesday's announcement was not necessarily good news for the Toulouse-based maker.

Martin Broughton, BA's chairman, seemed to pour cold water on Airbus's two star offerings, its A380 superjumbo and A350 hyper-efficient long range, mid-capacity 'point to pointer'. Of the A380, he said 'the jury is still out' and he believed the A350 was unlikely to be a principal long-haul aircraft at the airline.

Analysts were surprised. 'From what he said, BA is not going to buy the A350,' one said. 'I can't see why he would want to give away his negotiating position.'

What BA announced was that a paper on options was to be prepared for the board by the airline's fleet renewal team, headed by Robert Boyle, and acted on by chief executive-designate Willie Walsh.

But it is not in a tearing hurry. Its fleet is one of the youngest - averaging nine years old - and much of what it buys will be determined by what it already has. There is also the question of money. BA may have halved its debt since 9/11, but as one analyst said: 'They don't have the money, and the industry is likely to make a loss this year thanks to poor trading and oil prices'.

Nevertheless, BA's decisions will be significant for a number of reasons. First, pure size: it has one of the largest long-haul fleets in the world and its network is among the most far-reaching and varied, so it requires a wide variety of planes.

For several years Boeing and Airbus have held differing views on the evolution of air travel. Airbus believing that 'fat routes' - such as London to Sydney, Hong Kong and Los Angeles - need planes with a large number of seats. It maintains that such routes, which BA currently serves with 747s, will demand 1,400 very large planes like its A380 over the next 20 years. Boeing disagrees, saying the number of large-capacity planes needed will be around 350, arguing that real growth will be in the long-range lower capacity planes.

BA's decisions on how to match planes to its diverse routes will indicate who is winning the argument.

Boyle and his team have a fiendishly complicated task. There are real alternatives across the long-haul market. They must judge the likely growth of both the sector as a whole and its component parts. BA must stick within tight capital expenditure, still determined by debt and uncertain revenues. It will analyse the operating economics of the planes, passenger preferences, environmental issues and how new planes will fit with it current fleet.

Despite competition across all long-haul planes, will BA move from a Boeing-only fleet? After all, as one observer says: 'Competition is good for airlines. It gives them a choice and they can negotiate hard on price.' Will Airbus will be anything more than a bargaining chip? And will it discount price - thus possibly undermining returns - to win orders?

'We have talked about the benefits of fleet simplification [it did much of this after 9/11] and from a single family, but there are also technical benefits and commercial terms to consider,' a BA source said.

BA has 57 Boeing 747-400 jumbos. Airbus is hoping to sell the flag-carrier some of its 550-seat A380s, for which is has 159 orders and commitments , although first deliveries have been delayed.

In the spring Boeing confirmed it was considering an ultra-efficient '747 Advanced' that would increase passenger capacity from 420 to 450, and allow it to maintain a presence at the top end at a realistic development cost. It is expected to confirm the project this autumn. Boeing insists it is fill ing a gap between its own 777, which has a maximum 380 seats, and the A380's 550, so the two planes do not compete. One BA executive, however, said: 'We will consider both carefully, but it is very unlikely we will order both.'

Along with other airlines, BA has been encouraging Boeing to offer the 747 Advanced. This, taken with Broughton's 'jury is out' remark, and the reservations of other BA officials, makes the Airbus position appear weak.

'There are questions about [Airbus's] viability. They are only 60 per cent of the way towards break-even. The viability of the project affects the price they can offer.' On the other hand, all of this is to be expected at the outset of a commercial negotiation.

BA insists that the size and timing of orders is open to discussion. Its 747 fleet is rela- tively young; the oldest are 16 years old, four to five years from a typical retirement date. BA will be looking for deliveries in four to five years, but it is cagey about how many. 'Our core fleet remains young. The question is, at the margin what do you replace those planes you are retiring with,' said a source. He added that by the time orders are placed, Airbus may have sorted out the technical and economic questions and Boeing may have finalised its 747 Advanced.

The economics are even tighter in the middle capacity bracket, where BA has eschewed Airbus's A330 and A340 offerings, instead running 43 777s. These carry between 220 and 270 people to destinations such as Shanghai, Kuwait, Luanda and Jamaica.

It also has 10 767s carrying 180 to the US East coast and some African destinations. The 777s are its youngest planes, so there will be arguments over whether they need to be replaced. The 767s are likely to be wound down.

Airbus has a lot of work to do. A source said: 'This is not a priority from a replacement point of view,' adding 'getting more of the same [777s] is clearly one of the options'.

Boeing has its long-range, efficient 787 'Dreamliner', which can carry between 200 and 250 people and has attracted 252 orders and commitments.

Airbus has its A350, for which is has 120 commitments, but Broughton's remarks have caused concern. However, other sources at BA say that while 'the A350 is still evolving', the chairman was not ruling it out. His remarks were about whether BA needed this class of jet and so referred also to the 787. That seems clear-cut - except that the same person said there were clear advantages to both.

There is a lot for BA's head honchos to ponder. What is likely is that they will stir the competition as much as possible in the process.

Broughton: 'The jury is still out.'
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Old July 30th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #166
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One in four flights late as peak-hour congestion hits airport
30 July 2005
The Scotsman

PASSENGERS using Edinburgh airport have suffered some of its worst-ever delays, because of peak-hour congestion at the fast-growing hub.

Demand for flights in the morning and evening rush hours contributed to more than one in four scheduled services arriving or departing late between January and March.

Punctuality slumped by 5 per cent to 73 per cent compared with last year in the joint worst performance - with Luton - of any major British airport after Heathrow.

"On time" is measured as flights arriving or leaving less than 15 minutes late.

Passengers at Edinburgh suffered average delays of 16 minutes, four minutes more than in 2004, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) figures showed.

The figures reflect the price of Edinburgh's rapid passenger growth to 8.2 million a year - double that of eight years ago.

Nearly half of its passengers are business travellers - a much higher proportion than at many airports - and a high percentage travel to London at peak times.

Up to six flights are scheduled to depart at the same time at the height of the peaks, which are from 5-7am and 4-7pm.

The timekeeping of charter flights at Edinburgh improved by 1 per cent to 58 per cent, but this remains the worst among major airports.

Average delays increased by five minutes to 29 minutes.

While charter operations account for a small proportion of total passengers at Edinburgh, they comprised up to 20,000 passengers a month in this period.

By contrast, Glasgow Airport was the most punctual - along with Newcastle. A total of 79 per cent of scheduled flights were on time, although this was 3 per cent worse than a year ago.

Charter services scored 76 per cent punctuality, up 3 per cent.

BAA Scotland, which runs both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, admitted that the higher concentration of passengers at peak times at Edinburgh was causing "a real challenge".

While Glasgow is growing almost as fast as Edinburgh, just 29 per cent of its passengers are business travellers, compared with 42 per cent at its east coast counterpart. In addition, three-quarters of passengers at Edinburgh are travelling within the UK, many of them to and from London, compared with just over half at Glasgow.

Malcolm Robertson, a spokesman for BAA, said: "A high volume of business traffic at Edinburgh Airport dictates that, at peak times, we are busier than many other airports in the UK."

He added: "These obvious peaks across the day create a number of operational challenges for the airport, in terms of providing enough capacity and staff to manage the extra demand, but doing so efficiently and economically and in a way which protects the airport's competitive advantage, from which Edinburgh and Scotland benefit."

Mr Robertson said that BAA encouraged airlines to operate services at less busy times at Edinburgh, but it would not turn business away if they insisted on peak-time slots.

He said: "If such demand continues, we will have to look hard at what extra investment is required."

However, he added that BAA was not aware of any concern from airlines already operating at the busiest times.

Mr Robertson said BAA accepted that charter-flight punctuality at Edinburgh was poor, but problems affecting a single airline could have a disproportionate effect on the figures because of the small numbers involved.

BAA was spending "millions of pounds a year" developing the airport, which should improve the current situation, Mr Robertson added.

The CAA figures showed Istanbul was the airport with the worst punctuality among the top 75 destinations from Britain, where just half of flights operated on time.

Passengers at Toronto airport suffered the longest delays.
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Old August 6th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #167
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Flag carrier adds new routes
Angela Jameson
6 August 2005
The Times

BRITISH AIRWAYS is to fly to Iceland and Albania for the first time next summer (Angela Jameson writes).

The new routes, two of four that are to be launched next year, confirm the recovery of BA's short-haul business, which has had to respond to passenger interest in less traditional European destinations.

All the routes will leave from Gatwick, where ten new destinations have been added in the past year as part of BA's strategy to create a leisure hub for short haul direct flights.

BA hopes the routes will attract holidaymakers as well as friends and relatives travelling to and from the UK.

Passengers will be able to fly to Tirana, Albania's capital, from March with tickets priced from Pounds 205. BA will fly to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, five times a week with prices from Pounds 149 return. Flights to Varna, on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast, will also begin in late March, with prices from Pounds 149 return.

A new service to Izmir, Turkey's third-largest city, will operate three times a week and also cost Pounds 149.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 08:18 PM   #168
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Flight chaos as computer crash hits Britain"s air traffic control
By Barrie Clement Transport Editor
25 August 2005
The Independent

Thousands of flights out of Britain were cancelled or delayed after air traffic control systems crashed yesterday.

The chaos was made worse by a simultaneous computer failure at Maastricht in Belgium which covers airspace over much of north-western Europe.

At one stage, all commercial flights from British airports were grounded, causing long queues at check-ins.

A spokesman for National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said the disruption had been made worse by bad weather across Europe but added that the company hoped delays caused by the computer failure would be reduced to 10 minutes by the end of the day.

The disruption was caused by a glitch in an elderly computer at Nats centre in West Drayton in west London, which provides key information to controllers at the site and to their colleagues at Swanwick in Hampshire, Manchester and Prestwick in Scotland. An investigation was still under way into the causes of the problem.

The breakdown forced British Airways to cancel 22 services from Heathrow, where delays to other flights averaged an hour. Six services from Gatwick were cancelled and delays at regional airports were as long as two hours.

The computer at West Drayton near Heathrow went down at 9.30am for just 20 minutes, but the disruption came at a peak time of the year.

Hayden Evans, a controller at the new Swanwick centre and chairman of the Prospect union there, said: "It was quite a difficult situation. This is the busiest time of the year and people are working flat out.

"This was a major problem as far as controlling planes is concerned. It was a pretty massive achievement to get the system back to normal by 11am."

The computer at West Drayton produces flight progress strips for use by controllers. The pieces of cardboard show the last instructions given to pilots by overseas controllers before they fly into British airspace, including the flight number, call sign and height of the in-bound services. The British controller then assumes responsibility for the flight and issues further instructions.

Controllers" radar screens on which details of the flights appear remained functional throughout and controllers were able to speak to pilots and to controllers overseas to fill in the missing information.

That meant a substantial increase in workload and Nats decided to ground all flights preparing for take off at all the main British airports so that staff could deal with incoming aircraft and other planes already airborne.

A spokesman for Nats said about 80 per cent of capacity had been restored by 9.50am and full capacity was achieved by 11am. But disruption continued as staff struggled to deal with the backlog. No inbound flights had been affected, but short-haul aircraft preparing to take off for British destinations had been delayed.

In February, the same part of the system collapsed but the disruption was more limited because it was there were less flights operating.

Yesterday"s mysterious computer failure also came just over a year after a bizarre electronic breakdown at the same West Drayton centre, which affected 200,000 passengers.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Transport and General Workers" Union are hopeful that talks can resume today over the dispute involving the catering firm Gate Gourmet. Stoppages as a result of the dispute caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 06:19 AM   #169
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BA chief says airline will bounce back from strike Rod Eddington insists his company will not be brought down by wildcat action
By ALISON MAITLAND
24 August 2005
Financial Times

British Airways' handling of its catering contract with Gate Gourmet is "absolutely not" at the root of the industrial strife that has brought chaos to passengers this summer, according to Sir Rod Eddington, the airline's chief executive.

In an interview, Sir Rod justified the outsourcing of BA's in-flight meals and said the airline had treated the management of its relationship with Gate Gourmet, its sole catering supplier at Heathrow, with the importance it deserved.

He also rejected any suggestion that the UK's flag-carrier should have been better prepared for the wildcat strike in sympathy with sacked Gate Gourmet workers that caused a third consecutive summer of disruption to BA flights. "Our most senior trade union rep told me he didn't see this coming," he said.

Sir Rod said most airlines had, quite rightly, sold their flight kitchens to catering companies. "BA sold its catering arm to Swissair in 1997 and this became Gate Gourmet. Swissair then sold it to Texas Pacific in 2002, a business deal we naturally had no involvement in.

"Since then we have worked closely with Gate Gourmet. As Gate Gourmet's problems were made apparent to us in recent months, we ramped up our efforts to help the company considerably. We put a new, extended commercial deal to Gate Gourmet with increased revenue to ensure business stability and the future of the company."

The extended contract, offered by BA in July, was conditional on the catering company's resolving its industrial relations problems and gaining agreement on redundancies and reforms to working practices.

BA's management was taken completely by surprise when baggage handlers, bus drivers and cargo workers walked out, paralysing operations and stranding more than 100,000 passengers around the world.

There was chaos in 2003 when check-in staff staged an unofficial strike over new clocking-in procedures, and last year employee shortages caused flight cancellations during one of the busiest summer weeks.

Although hot meals have only this week been restored on long-haul flights from Heathrow, Sir Rod pointed out that BA had managed to get its flying programme back to normal in record time. "I am the first to put my hand up and say that the problems of the previous two summers were problems originating in BA. But this disruption was not, and I do not believe that even our harshest critics would say that we should have seen this one coming."

He said his first concern was customer welfare when the Gate Gourmet dispute stopped catering supplies. "As such, we acted swiftly to provide food in the Heathrow terminals in a variety of places. This plan of action was working well and our customers were stoical about what was happening, happy at least to be flying as planned."

But when things escalated with the unofficial sympathy action by BA employees, he was saddened and frustrated, he said.

"This was not BA's fight and for some of our staff to walk out in support of another company was an outrageous and a bitter blow . . . When the problem was solely a lack of on-board catering, we were coping extremely well."

The airline had "well-honed procedures" for coping with disruption, which were demonstrated by the speed with which flights got back to normal.

Asked if he had shied away from confronting trades union power at Heathrow, Sir Rod asked whether anyone enjoyed confrontation. "The trick is whether you run from it or face up to it and I have never been one to run away from it," he said. "Neither is it as simple as being too soft or too hard on unions or indeed any other party, be they staff or suppliers.

"At the end of the day, we are all partners in thisbusiness and its success is mutually dependent oneveryone pulling together to achieve the same business goals. This approach has allowed us to deliver major changes at BA over the last few years, including a substantial reduction in the workforce."

Sir Rod said he was confident that employee morale would recover quickly from the problems caused by the unofficial strike.

"Most of our people are focused on our recovery," he said. "They show a remarkable resilience and ability to bounce back from such challenges. There is no doubt in my mind that is exactly what they will do this time, once we have had time to lick our wounds and move on - and we will do that swiftly."
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:53 AM   #170
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British Airways to overhaul customer operations

LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - British Airways, Europe's third-largest airline, said on Thursday it would reorganise its customer service and operations division following the retirement of a senior executive.

The revamp, which places three executives in charge of key operations headed by outgoing director Mike Street, follows a strike by BA ground crew at London's Heathrow Airport last month which stranded more than 100,000 passengers.

The airline's current director of safety and security Geoff Want will become director of all ground operations following the previously-announced retirement of Mike Street at the end of September.

Want will also be responsible for the airline's move to a single terminal at London's Heathrow Airport in 2008, BA said in a statement.

In-flight service will come under the responsibility of BA's director of marketing, Martin George, in a move the airline said would align product development and delivery.

Robert Boyle, currently in charge of network and fleet planning, will take charge of all commercial and operational planning under the revamp.

"This organisation places them under the stewardship of three very capable directors when Mike Street retires at the end of the month. Our focus in the meantime will be to ensure a smooth and efficient handover," Chief Excecutive designate Willie Walsh said in a statement.

Walsh replaces current chief Rod Eddington who retires at the end of the month.

BA's operations at Heathrow have been hit with disruptions for the last three summers. Its in-flight meals service has also been rattled this summer due to an industrial dispute at its caterer Gate Gourmet.

BA shares were trading 0.3 percent firmer at 278 pence at 1428 GMT.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #171
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Heathrow extols success of T5 amid catering dispute
By KEVIN DONE and ANDREW TAYLOR
2 September 2005
Financial Times

As the industrial relations dispute at Gate Gourmet, the British Airways caterer at Heathrow, worsened yesterday, elsewhere on the airport site BAA, the airport operator, was extolling labour relations at its flagship Terminal Five construction site.

For three years in succession BA, the biggest airline at Heathrow, has suffered severe disruption during its peak summer season, with its latest woes three weeks ago triggered by a sympathy strike by 1,000 staff in support of more than 600 sacked workers at Gate Gourmet.

Less than a mile from the Gate Gourmet catering plant at Heathrow is one of the biggest construction sites in Europe and in nearly three years it is yet to lose a single day's work through industrial disputes.

BAA said the Pounds 4.2bn T5 project was 65 per cent complete. It was on time and on budget, as it moved towards a commissioning date of March 30, 2008. It will be occupied by BA, which for the first time in its history will be able to operate under a single roof at Heathrow, its global hub, instead of having to spread its operations across different terminals.

The airline has embarked on a crucial programme to reform its own working practices at Heathrow under the slogan "Fit for Five".

But BAA has managed so far to insulate the T5 building site from the industrial relations problems evident elsewhere at Heathrow, in spite of having to manage around 100 suppliers and a construction workforce that is set to grow to around 7,500 workers this autumn.

Yesterday Alistair Darling, transport secretary, performed the topping out ceremony on the main T5 building to mark completion of the structure, which by 2008 will add a capacity to handle around 30m passengers.

Tony Douglas, BAA managing director of T5, said the scale and complexity of the construction project had "challenged all of us to think, behave and work differently" with integrated teams and innovative management of risk and industrial relations.

BAA was currently spending on T5 at a rate of Pounds 4m a day, said Mr Douglas, and he acknowledged that industrial relations remained a "real risk" to the project.

From the outset BAA had set out to "work constructively" with the trades unions, he said. But it had also offered highly competitive pay and conditions as it sought to attract "the best people", particularly in sectors where there are skills shortages in the south-east. In the traditionally low-paid areas of employment at Heathrow, such as catering, volatile labour relations remain a serious threat.Yesterday David Siegel, chief executive of Gate Gourmet, was accused of trying to scupper a redundancy deal aimed at ending the long-running labour dispute.

The Transport and General Workers Union attacked comments made by Mr Siegel on his refusal to take back "militant or disruptive employees". The comments were made before the outcome of a voluntary redundancy and compensation scheme agreed with the union is known.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 06:11 PM   #172
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BA says August passenger traffic hurt by strike

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - British Airways, Europe's third-largest airline, said on Monday its August passenger traffic fell 0.7 percent after a strike disrupted its flights at London's Heathrow Airport.

BA also said volatile fuel prices and exchange rates made forecasting more challenging than usual but did not change its previous market forecasts.

Market conditions remain broadly unchanged, BA said.

The airline said in a statement its load factor, which measures how efficiently it is filling its planes, was up 0.2 percentage points to 77.9 percent in August.

The results were hit by a strike by BA ground staff last month.

More than 100,000 BA passengers were stranded when staff went on strike in sympathy with sacked workers at the company's catering firm.

More than 700 flights were cancelled, disrupting services at the peak of the summer holiday season.

BA did not announce any increase in its fuel surcharges although the airline has not ruled out the possibility. Oil prices hit a record $70.85 a barrel last week.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 09:40 PM   #173
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One of my favourite threads here. Thanks for all the effort, hkskyline. Keep it up
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Old September 8th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #174
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Thank you.

Thursday September 8, 8:29 PM
BA raises fare fuel surcharge after Hurricane Katrina



LONDON (AFP) - British Airways announced it would increase by 25 percent the fuel surcharge on its long-haul flights to offset surging fuel costs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"Our fuel costs remain a real burden," BA commercial director Martin George said Thursday. "The price of oil hit a record high of just over 70 dollars per barrel in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina."

BA said the long-haul fuel surcharge on one-way tickets sold and issued in Britain would rise to 30 pounds (44 euros, 55 dollars) next Monday. The surcharge would double to 60 pounds for a return trip.

It was the fifth increase in 16 months and followed an increase in June to 24 pounds for single fares.

The airline's fuel surcharge on short-haul flights would remain at 8.0 pounds for a single trip and 16 for a return, it added.

"This latest fuel surcharge rise is very regrettable but we have little choice to pass some of our extra costs on to our customers," George said, adding that it cost 400 percent more to fill up a plane than in December 2001.

"Our fuel bill of around 1.6 billion pounds is now our second largest cost after employee costs," George added.

Oil prices are trading at around 65 dollars per barrel after last week hitting a record high point of 70.85 dollars, as Hurricane Katrina battered oil facilities in the US Gulf of Mexico.
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Old September 9th, 2005, 06:05 PM   #175
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London's Heathrow airport loses traffic in August
Fri Sep 9, 6:12 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Passenger traffic fell by 3.0 percent at London's main Heathrow airport in August following a strike by British Airways staff and the recent London bombings, British airports operator BAA said.

Overall, BAA handled 14.3 million passengers in August at its seven British airports, which include also London's Gatwick and Stansted.

"Despite the combined impacts of the aftermath of the London bombings on visits to the capital and the disruption of BA services... this still represented an increase of 0.5 percent on August 2004," BAA said in a statement.

A total of 6.12 million passengers passed through Heathrow -- the world's busiest airport -- last month. Traffic at BAA's six other airports rose in August from a year earlier.

The airport operator said that the performance of all its major markets during the peak holiday season was below recent trends, but only North Atlantic travel declined on a year ago, down 1.3 percent.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #176
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Emirates could launch new Edinburgh flights
8 September 2005
The Scotsman

EMIRATES Airlines, the UAE-based carrier whose daily Glasgow-Dubai service carried 150,000 passengers in its first year of operation, is set to expand the booming Scottish route - and that could include new flights from Edinburgh.

The move comes as the company is already in the process of doubling its seating capacity, with larger Boeing 777 aircraft operating from Glasgow next month.

Vic Sheppard, Emirates' vice-president for UK & Ireland, said yesterday: "We knew that tourism and trade activity from other markets, such as Africa and the Indian sub-continent, was relatively small out of Scotland, no doubt constrained by transportation links.

"With convenient connections through our Emirates Dubai hub to nine African countries and five Indian cities alone, our Glasgow service is doing its bit to help the Scottish business community tap into this huge potential, driving major opportunities for Scotland plc."

Business leaders in Edinburgh are believed to be pushing for the company to open a direct route from the capital. Glasgow and Edinburgh were both considered for Scottish hubs, but Glasgow won when it was first launched last year.

Donald Anderson, the leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said he had written to Emirates explaining the benefits of opening another Middle East route.

"We are keen to secure a second route for Scotland. Edinburgh has huge potential for airlines looking for new business opportunities."

Speaking to The Scotsman earlier this year from Dubai, Keith Longstaff, senior vice-president in charge of European commercial operations, stressed that the airline had yet to complete its inquiry process into Emirates' promised expansion in Scotland by 2006-7.

He said the profile of Edinburgh's passenger population made the capital an ideal candidate for a direct flight to the Middle East.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 03:42 AM   #177
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BAA numbers hit by bombs and strike
Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent
9 September 2005
Financial Times

Passenger traffic at BAA's seven UK airports was depressed last month by the continuing impact of the July bombings in London and by the disruption to British Airways flights associated with the industrial dispute at Gate Gourmet, BA's catering supplier at Heathrow.

Total passenger numbers at BAA's UK airports rose only 0.5 per cent to 14.3m compared with the company's forecast for an increase of 3.5 per cent in volumes at the three London airports, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted in the 12 months to March 2006.

The main impact was felt at Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe and British Airways' global hub, where traffic fell by 3 per cent year-on-year in August to 6.1m.

BA cancelled more than 700 flights to and from Heathrow over four days in mid-August at the peak of the summer season, stranding around 110,000 passengers around the world.

It said earlier this week it had suffered the first monthly decline in August in its traffic volumes since April 2003.

BAA said performance in all key areas in August was below recent trends. Volumes in the key North Atlantic market fell 1.3 per cent to 1.9m, while traffic in other long-haul markets rose by per cent to 2m.

The weakest performance was in the European charter market, where tour operators have been losing share to the low cost airlines as consumers increasingly choose to organise their own holidays and book air travel and hotels separately.

Short-haul charter passenger volumes fell 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 1.6m.

BAA said charter traffic at Gatwick, which accounted for around a third of passenger volumes at the airport, fell 7 per cent but was offset by strong growth in European scheduled traffic, including by low cost operators, and in long-haul markets, allowing overall traffic at the airport to grow 1.1 per cent to 3.7m.

The rate of growth at Stansted, previously fuelled by the rapid expansion of the low cost airlines has slowed, as the airport increasingly suffers from capacity constraints at peak hours. Passenger volumes in August rose 4.2 per cent to 2.2m and 6.3 per cent in the last 12 months to 21.8m.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 03:32 PM   #178
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Jet Airways captures 24 pc of Mumbai-London sector

Tunia Cherian George

Mumbai , Sept 21

JET Airways has captured a fourth of the market share on the Mumbai-London route within three months of launching the service in May this year. In August, the airline carried approximately 13,000 passengers, which represents 24 per cent of the traffic on this route.

Mr Peter Luethi, COO of Jet Airways, said that this was a significant achievement given that it was achieved in just three months. Average loads on the sector were in excess of 70 per cent, he added. He was quoting Government data to confirm the marketshare information.

Me Luethi attributed the performance to a combination of factors, including convenient daytime departures from Mumbai; a quality product on business class; pricing of the economy segment; in-flight entertainment, and an understanding of the Indian market.

He told Business Line that passengers from India make up about 60 per cent of the loads on the Mumbai-London sector, though this number varied with the season.

The airline has deployed the A340-300 E (Enhanced) aircraft, with a capacity of 269 passengers in a two-class layout, on the sector. Jet Airways plans to launch a daily service between Delhi and London from October 30.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...2201170700.htm
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Old September 26th, 2005, 05:48 PM   #179
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UK to liberalise foreign airlines' access to regional UK airports
26 September 2005

LONDON (AFX) - The UK government said it is to make it easier for foreign airlines to fly new international air services to or from UK regional airports.

The government said it will in future apply a general presumption in favour of allowing foreign airlines to set down or pick up passengers, or cargo, at a UK regional airport en route to another country.

It will also allow a foreign airline flying to the UK to pick up passengers or cargo from a third country en route to its destination in the UK.

The government said that rights to operate such services, known as 'fifth freedom' rights, have traditionally been closely limited through the system of bilateral air services agreements under which international aviation is controlled.

UK aviation Minister Karen Buck said: 'Today's announcement supports the UK's policy... to promote the growth of regional airports.

'The move will potentially mean more services and a greater choice of

connections for passengers outside the South East of England.'

'It is now up to the airlines to apply to operate new services,' she added.
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Old October 3rd, 2005, 03:40 AM   #180
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British Airways eyes 15 pct job cuts - source
By Michael Smith

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - British Airways , Europe's third-largest airline, is eyeing a 15 percent cut in staff over several years as part of its move into a single new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport, a source said Sunday.

"A figure has not been put on any job losses, but a 15 percent reduction of the work force is a reasonable bet," a source familiar with the situation told Reuters.

BA, which employs 46,000 workers, is scheduled to move operations to the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow in 2008.

A BA spokesman reiterated the airline was targeting a 300 million pound ($529.8 million) reduction in labor costs by March 2007, but declined to comment on specific staff numbers.

"We have not made a secret of the fact we need to take more costs from our business," the spokesman said. "We have not ruled out more job losses but there are other ways to reduce labor costs."

Labor issues will be a top priority for the airline's new Chief Executive Willie Walsh who took over from former boss Rod Eddington over the weekend.

The Observer newspaper said on Sunday groups to be targeted for job cuts include call center and check-in staff, baggage handlers and other ground staff.

Analysts say new technology under the Terminal 5 move at Heathrow will allow each worker to do more, while growing use of automated facilities such as on-line booking and automated check-in will also lead to cuts.

Eddington cut 14,000 jobs during his five-year tenure at BA. Walsh cut one-third of Irish carrier Aer Lingus' work force where he was chief executive ahead of the BA appointment.

BA has a delicate relationship with unions, particularly baggage handlers, following three successive summers of industrial unrest which grounded flights at its Heathrow operations.

An industrial dispute at its caterer Gate Gourmet spilled over into a sympathy strike by BA staff, stranding more than 100,000 passengers at Heathrow last month.

($1=.5662 Pound)
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