British Airways has posted March traffic and capacity figures that continue to show sharp falls in premium traffic.

Figures for last month reveal traffic fell 7.3%, while capacity was increased by 0.9%. This resulted in a passenger load factor decrease of 6.4 points to 72.7%.

Premium traffic fell 13%, while non-premium business declined 6%. Cargo traffic also dropped 10%.

BA says the March figures are affected by the Easter holiday's falling in April this year rather than a month earlier in 2008. The effect was to increase premium and reduce non-premium volumes.

February's significant snowfall, which restricted operations for several days is also expected to impact BA by £20 million, while additional severance costs to the end of March could have an impact of £35 million.

BA is also predicting a full-year revenue hit of between £20-25 million due to volume and yield weakness, especially in US traffic.

The carrier is sticking to its previous estimate that it will post a full-year operating loss of £150 million ($201 million) before severance costs of £75 million.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news