Monday, April 6, 2009

British Airways Eyes on Middle East Market

UK flag carrier British Airways, or BA, has unveiled its biggest ever regional summer schedule eyeing on the Middle East market, boosting seasonal programme by 35 per cent.

Paolo De Renzis, BA’s new Commercial Manager for the Middle East, said the region continues to show robust growth and remains an important market.

He said this new summer schedule sees the airline operating 66 weekly flights from eight GCC markets to London Heathrow, a 35 per cent increase over that of last year, at a time when several leading regional and global carriers had reduced their seasonal schedules to fight current economic downturn.

Earlier, BA announced it expected to post £150 million (Dh791 million) in losses for the period from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009, and said the region — where the carrier has operated for 77 years — remained a vital component in BA’s long-term growth strategy.

“It’s no secret the aviation industry is in the worst trading environment it has ever faced and several carriers have folded already this year, following the 30-plus airlines that went bust in 2008,” De Renzis said.

He further said that BA is well-positioned to navigate any economic turbulence but it recognises that it is not immune from the tightening market conditions brought about by the falling passenger numbers.