(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - July 4, 2009: British Airways has cut its spending plans by 20pc and will reduce the number of available seats in its summer schedule as it prepares for a prolonged downturn. Europe's third-largest airline said that it carried 3.8pc fewer passengers in June when compared with last year Photo: PA The company said it now planned to spend £580m in the current year, down from £725m, and maintain spending at this level next year. These cuts in expenditure include delaying orders for 12 new Airbus A380 aircraft for up to two years. The delivery schedule for the first six A380 double-decker aeroplane will be delayed for five months, with the first delivery still due in 2012. The final aircraft is now expected to be delivered in 2016. Europe's third-largest airline said that it carried 3.8pc fewer passengers in June when compared with last year, including a 14.9pc fall in premium traffic, which includes business and first class. Economy traffic fell just 1.3pc over the month. The company's load factor, which is a measure of how full the group's aircraft are, slipped 1.8 percentage points to 79.6pc. The biggest fall in passenger numbers was seen in the Asia Pacific region, where the total number of people carried fell 15pc over the month. In Europe, passenger numbers were down 4.3pc and in the Americas fell 1.3pc. "Market conditions continue to be very challenging with trading at levels well below last year", the airline said in a statement. "However on an underlying basis both premium and non-premium volumes and seat factors have now been stable for more than three months." Shares in British Airways finished up 6.5 at 121.8p.
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