By Claire West

British Airways today (October 29) presented its interim management report for the six months ended September 30, 2010.

Chief executive Willie Walsh, said:

“Our concerted efforts to introduce permanent structural change across the airline has led to a reduction in non-fuel costs and a return to profitability. Revenue has increased, driven primarily by yield improvements and, while fuel costs have risen, they are in line with our expectations.

Our focus on permanent structural change will continue. This summer we agreed a new productivity deal with our Heathrow terminal-based staff that will provide a more flexible, cost-efficient and customer focused ground operation. In addition, the first of the cabin crew recruited on new terms and conditions have completed training and start flying on Monday.

“At a strategic level, we launched our transatlantic joint business with American Airlines and Iberia earlier this month, having received regulatory approval in the summer. Also, we expect to complete our merger with Iberia in January 2011. Regulatory information about the merger has been sent to shareholders in advance of shareholder meetings on November 29 to seek approval for the merger.

Period highlights for BAY (LSE)

Profit before tax of £158 million (2009: loss of £292 million)
Revenue up £345 million due to improved yields
Costs down 1.5 per cent
Operating profit of £298 million (2009: loss of £111 million)
Quarter 2 operating profit of £370 million (2009: loss of £17 million)