The world’s 30th favourite airline! Blundering BA falls out of favour

Rapid descent: British Airways' traffic figure of 30.7m for 2021 was 80% lower, sending it sliding down to 30th in a global ranking of carriers by passenger traffic levels


The world’s 30th favourite airline! Blundering BA falls out of favour with passenger numbers down to 30.7m

British Airways, which once styled itself as ‘the world’s favourite airline’, has slumped to 30th in a global ranking of carriers by passenger traffic levels.

The figures from aviation analytics business Cirium were even worse for BA’s rival Virgin Atlantic, which fell out of the top 100.

Cirium’s data ranks airlines by revenue passenger kilometres, a metric calculated by multiplying the number of fare-paying passengers on an aircraft by distance covered. 

Rapid descent: British Airways' traffic figure of 30.7m for 2021 was 80% lower, sending it sliding down to 30th in a global ranking of carriers by passenger traffic levels

Rapid descent: British Airways’ traffic figure of 30.7m for 2021 was 80% lower, sending it sliding down to 30th in a global ranking of carriers by passenger traffic levels

British Airways had been in 12th spot in pre-pandemic 2019 but its traffic figure of 30.7m for 2021 was 80 per cent lower, sending it sliding down the chart.

BA was dwarfed by Ryanair, which at 120.6m was fifth in the global table – up from eighth in 2019 – amid a shift towards low-cost travel.

Easyjet, however, slipped from 18th to 40th as it ‘battled operational issues and financial losses’, the report said. 

The report, based on 600 operators tracked in Cirium’s database, showed world airline traffic ended the year still 57 per cent lower than before the pandemic. 

Four US carriers topped the 2021 rankings, led by American Airlines on 237.5million. North America’s airline industry has been recovering more quickly from the pandemic. 

BA has had a tough time in recent months as airport staffing chaos forced it to cut tens of thousands of flights.

See also  How airlines plan to end one billion tons of carbon emissions

That has dragged on the fortunes of its parent company International Airlines Group, which said that the pace of its recovery would be scaled back because of the problems being experienced by BA at Heathrow that has capped passenger numbers at 100,000 a day.

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