British Airways posts smaller than expected £50m loss

British Airways (BA) has reported a smaller-than-expected pre-tax loss of £50m in the three months t

The flag-carrier warned it could still have a record annual shortfall. Analysts had predicted BA would post a much greater loss of £150 million for the quarter. Hefty cost cutting measures helped improve performance, leading BA to report its first operating profit for more than a year.

"Operating costs are down by more than 10% and show that we've adapted quickly to the new businesses realities created by the global recession", BA chief executive Willie Walsh said.

He said the airline was working with unions and trustees to address its £3.7bn pension funds' deficit. BA avoided strike action over the Christmas and New Year period after winning a legal challenge against the union Unite. It is currently engaged in a potentially damaging battle with staff over strike threats.