BA slashes prices in bid to win back customers

The carrier is offering discounts for travel up to December 31, 2010

Travel

British Airways has reduced the price of its flights from the UAE to Europe and North America in a bid to win back customers following recent cabin crew strikes, the beleaguered carrier said in a statement on Monday.

“Following its well-documented challenges, global premium airline British Airways has acknowledged the need to regain the faith of its customers,” the company statement said.

Arabian Business reported on Sunday that bookings on the airline’s scheduled flights from the UAE were down by almost half following industrial action by staff over proposed changes to pay and working conditions.

Three of the emirates’ leading travel agents said they had noticed a significant drop in sales as the strike disruption deterred people from booking.

BA said in the statement that its Middle Eastern routes had remained “fairly stable” during the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud crisis and recent industrial action, and that it was “determined to reward the loyalty of its passengers”.

The discounted fairs have been available to book since June 15 until July 5, and are valid for travel up to December 31, 2010, the airline said.

For example, an economy class flight from Dubai to London Heathrow, including taxes, costs from AED2,195 – almost half the price of an Emirates Airline flight.

Seats in premium economy to Europe start at AED3,795 and AED8,965 in business class, according to the statement, while flights to the US start at AED3,555.

Paolo De Renzis, British Airways’ area commercial manager, Middle East, said: “We are well-aware of the challenges facing the airline industry, and we remain absolutely determined to keep our passengers flying during this busy travel period.”

British Airways currently operates 14 flights per week from London Heathrow to Dubai International as well as a daily service to Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this year, BA posted a record full-year loss of £531m ($767.66m). BA said its revenues for the year to the end of March fell eleven percent to £7.9bn ($11.42bn), but forecast that it will break even by 2011.

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