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A silver lining for British Airways

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: British Airways reported this morning it suffered the biggest loss in its history. In the fiscal year that ended in March, the airline lost about $600 million. There may be a silver lining for the company, as Stephen Beard reports from London.


Stephen Beard: BA calls the figures an excellent reflection of just how bad the global economy has become. The airline's usually most lucrative sector was hit particularly hard.

Business and first class traffic fell by 13 percent. Cargo and Economy class were also down. The airline sees no signs of recovery in any of its markets, this year or next.

But aviation analyst Howard Wheeldon says BA could now win approval for its planned alliance with American Airlines:

Howard Wheeldon: Given the intrinsic weaknesses in the airline industry, I think the regulators will see this as the right way to go forward. I'm sensing that there's a better expectation that this time, this alliance will forge through.

BA can also look forward to lower fuel costs this year after last year's $4.5 billion bill.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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