01 February 1999

BRITISH AIRWAYS posted a pre-tax loss of £75m for the three months to 31 December - its first quarterly loss in four years. In the same quarter of 1997, the airline made a profit of £80m. The Asian financial crisis and declining sales of first and business class seats were blamed for the reverse. Chairman Lord Marshall said: ‘The situation is not likely to improve materially in the short term.’ The City had expected grimmer tidings and, paradoxically, BA shares rose 7.25p to 388.75p