8 Feb 2010

British Airways still headed for worst-ever year

5:13 pm on 8 February 2010

British Airways has posted a quarterly result that's better than expected, but it's still on track for its worst-ever year.

The airline lost $107 million in the three months to December - less than the $260 million it lost in the same period in 2008 and smaller than many analysts had expected.

But its pre-tax loss in the nine months to December soared to $732 million; the equivalent figure for the same period in 2008 was $150 million.

The global downturn has taken a heavy toll on the airline's passenger numbers, the BBC reports, and the company is currently locked in a High Court battle with the trade union Unite over changes to cabin crew, with strike action a possibility.

Chief executive Willie Walsh says: "We still expect to make record losses this year. Permanent structural change is being introduced in all areas and will return us to sustained profitability."