London: British Airways reported record full year profits on Friday, and also appeared to win public approval for the fact that the carrier's chief executive decided to forgo his bonus because of the disastrous opening of its flagship Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.
Walsh would have been entitled to a bonus of up to 700,000 pounds ($1.36 million; €880,000).
Announcing the results, BA warned of dangers ahead, mainly on account of costs related to the new terminal, where its schedule for transfer of flights is still lagging, and because of the skyrocketing cost of fuel. It noted that crude prices have risen from $58 a barrel in the first quarter last year, to $115 a barrel this year.
The upward movement has by no means eased off.
It also said that full year revenues would rise by around 4 per cent, which is at the lower end of its previously announced guidance.
It said that it had more than doubled net profit to 680 million pounds ($1.3 billion; €855 million) in the year to 31 March, up from 290 million pounds in the previous year, despite the raft of troubles it has faced recently.
Revenue was up 3.1 per cent to 8.75 billion pounds ($17 billion; €11 billion), mainly on account of its successful drive to target corporate travelers on routes between the United States and London.
Pretax profits were at a record 883 million pounds ($1.7 billion; €1.1 billion), up 45 per cent on the previous year.
There was good news for the shareholders with the flag carrier deciding to pay out its first dividend to since the 11 Sept. 2001 terrorist attacks.
"This is an outstanding financial result for the company, despite rising fuel prices and significant economic slowdown in the last six months," said chief executive, Willie Walsh.
Walsh also said talks continued with US carriers American Airlines and Continental Airlines on possible "opportunities for cooperation.''
BA also is launching a trans-Atlantic subsidiary, OpenSkies, next month between Paris Orly and New York JFK.