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BA eyes 2011 for return to profitability

BRITISH Airways Plc said it sees no return to profit until fiscal 2011 at the earliest as the global recession weighs on demand for air travel.

The operating loss for the 12 months through next March will be broadly similar to the 150-million-pound (US$213 million) deficit forecast for the current fiscal year, British Airways said yesterday, according to Bloomberg News.

Revenue will probably slump 5 percent next year as demand falls and BA slashes capacity, it said. Management job cuts and other savings should shave 220 million pounds from non-fuel costs. The company didn't give details of further workforce reductions or a pay plan it's working on with unions.

British Airways scrapped predictions for a "small" operating profit this fiscal year in January before reporting a net loss of 127 million pounds for the first nine months on February 6. Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said then that the slump in air travel would last at least two years, forcing the carrier to drop more flights.

The stock has declined 25 percent so far this year.

Walsh dumped more than 400 managers last year through voluntary severance packages.


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