British Airways has reduced fares by up to 70% and increased ticket flexibility on all UK routes out of London in response to competition from low-cost operators.

Returns from Gatwick and Heathrow to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle start at £69 ($98), while fares between London and Aberdeen start from £79. The airline has ended restrictions on advance ticket purchases and Saturday night stays for domestic outbound London flights. Business passengers will be able to "mix and match" a cheap outbound flight with a flexible return, for example.

BA is combining "pricing simplicity" with a bid to boost online sales - factors that have helped no-frills carriers cut costs. But catering and bar services, and seat choice will be maintained. The move is "designed to return the airline to profitability", says BA, which posted a £187 million operating loss for the last quarter 2001.

Source: Flight International