British Airways PLC announced Friday it will ground aircraft, slash seat numbers and postpone taking delivery of a dozen new Airbus A380 superjumbos as it faces a recession-driven decline in passengers.
The airline said it carried 2.93 million passengers in June, 5 percent fewer than in June 2008.
BA said that in response to the "challenging economic conditions" it was cutting its summer capacity by 3.5 percent, rather than the originally forecast 2.5 percent. Capacity for October through March 2010 is expected to be down by 5 percent, The Associated Press reports.
BA also said that it would ground its remaining three mainline Boeing 757 aircraft next summer and a further three Boeing 747-400s in winter next year.
In all, the airline said that capital expenditure during the current financial year, which ends next March, has been cut from £725 million to £580 million, adding that it was likely to remain at this level for 2010-11, Times Online reports.
BA's head of investor relations George Stinnes told reporters "We have renegotiated a delivery schedule ... the demand we expected in 2012 will now arrive later." He also said that the firm still expected to have £1bn in cash by March 2010, The Independent reports.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia