Passengers Losing Appetite for Airline

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES QUINN

BRITISH Airways unveiled the full extent of the damage caused by the Gate Gourmet fiasco as it reported a 3.9pc drop in the number of passengers it carried last month.

The airline, which was hit by a series of wildcat strikes by 1,000 of its own staff in mid-August, flew just 3.1m travellers last month against 3.23m in August 2004.

Its premium offering was worst hit by the catering linked protests.

Customers travelling in First, Club World and Club Europe cabins fell by 4.7pc. The airline's cargo services were also affected, falling 10.2pc.

BA spokesman George Stinnes said: 'Premium passengers have a considerable amount of flexibility as to changing their tickets, not to mention choosing which airline they fly on.' More than 700 flights were cancelled on August 11 and 12, with City analysts calculating that the dispute has cost BA at least [pounds sterling]40m, before accounting for the cost of compensation to be paid to delayed passengers under new European laws. …