British Airways saw second quarter operating profit fall to £201 million ($325 million), compared with £317 million in 1996, to give a first-half profit of £341 million, against £521 million in 1996. The strength of the pound and a damaging cabin-crew strike were largely to blame for the downturn. Profits received a £47 million boost from disposal of part of BA's Galileo computer reservation system stake. Meanwhile, at Netherlands flag carrier KLM, operating income for the quarter rose sharply to NFl 506 million ($257 million) against NFl 187 million in 1996. Profits for the half year increased from NFl 272 million to NFl 754 million, partly because of exchange-rate gains.

Source: Flight International