British Airways shares jump 6.4% as traffic rebounds

British Airways tailfins
Image caption BA is recovering from the strikes that left planes grounded over the summer

British Airways (BA) shares have jumped 6.4% to their highest close in two years, after it reported that traffic in September was up 1.3% on a year ago.

The data suggests the British flag carrier has put the impact of summer strikes behind it.

The company saw its strongest growth in the more profitable "premium" traffic - first class and business class travellers - which rose by 4.3%.

However, total traffic for the year to date is still down on a year ago.

And traffic in Asia is still suffering, having fallen 6.4% in September, the company said.

Transatlantic alliance

The company said that its "passenger load factor" - a measure of full seats on its planes - rose to 82.4% in September, from 81.5% the month before.

Cargo traffic also rose, up 1.4% on a year earlier, according to the statement from BA.

However, total passenger traffic for the year to date is still down 7.4% on last year, due to the cabin crew strikes, as well as the volcanic ash cloud that grounded European aircraft in April.

The British flag-carrier will launch a new transatlantic routes alliance with Iberia of Spain - with whom BA is merging - and American Airlines on Wednesday.

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