By Jason Theodorou

British Airways has recorded a £164 million loss for the three months leading to June 30, beset by cabin crew strikes and impacted by the closure of European airspace following the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The loss is greater than the £148 million loss it recorded during the same period in 2009, and comes in line with previous estimates of losses. The airline has seen 22 days of cabin crew strikes, and walkouts could continue in September as the dispute continues.

The volcanic ash cloud also played a part, with European airspace closed for six days in April. Passenger revenues fell by 3.4% after an 11.2% decrease in capacity. The airline saw a good performance from its cargo business, where revenue increased by 36.7%.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: 'While some economic experts are flagging the risk of a 'double dip' recession, the steady recovery continues and, on that basis, we continue to target to break even at a profit before tax level for the full year'.

He noted that at the operating level, losses were less than the £94 million posted one year previously. This was helped by a lower fuel bill.

BA has seen an improvement in its fortunes, with US regulators approving an alliance with American Airlines and Iberia. But the dispute with Unite continues, with members of the union rejecting a 'final offer' from the airline.

The conflict once centered around pay and working
conditions, but now revolves around BA's removal of travel perks from striking cabin crew.

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