BAWC struggles through 2009

BRITISH Airways World Cargo (BAWC) has posted revenues of £550.3 million for the financial year 2009/10, a fall of 18.2 per cent from the same period last year. In addition, commercial revenues were down 26.1 per cent.

Volumes were 2.2 per cent down to 4.5 million cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs). Cargo capacity for the same period was down 4.2 per cent. Overall yield fell 16.4 per cent, driven by lower levels of fuel surcharge and underlying market conditions. Excluding the impact of exchange rate movements, yield decreased by 24.5 per cent.

Revenues at BAWC’s parent company British Airways were down £1 billion, although it managed to cut costs by nearly £990 million, largely thanks to a £600 million saving from lower fuel costs over the year.

However, conditions improved in the fourth quarter where revenue increased 9.2 per cent and volumes by 5.8 per cent compared to the same quarter in the prior year. However, this must be measured against the very low figures of that time.

Steve Gunning, managing director, BA World Cargo comments: “In order for the recovery that has commenced in the second half to be sustained, we must continue to improve yields. In addition, a full recovery will be dependent on a rational and measured re-introduction of capacity.”

Rachel Izzard, financial controller, BA World Cargo, said: “Demand for cargo continued to improve in the fourth quarter, following the high unanticipated peak in the third quarter, led by demand for additional capacity out of China and South-East Asian markets. These markets continue to maintain a high level of demand for airfreight and our decision to maintain our freighter routes enabled us to build upon this recovery. Demand for our premium products has also remained strong with volumes maintained in spite of the ongoing global economic turbulence.

“While, we experienced some disruption to our schedule as a result of the heavy snow and ongoing industrial action, our response, in terms of scheduling solutions and the deployment of our comprehensive trucking network, meant that we were able to minimise the impact across the cargo business,” Izzard added.

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