AFP - British Airways reported on Friday that it slumped to an annual loss of 375 million pounds (590 million dollars, 425 million euros) for the year to March 2009, from a year-earlier profit of 712 million pounds.
The airline said conditions in the industry were very difficult and that a recovery would take longer than first thought.
It said it had an operating loss of 220 million pounds for the period, reversing year-earlier operating profit of 878 million pounds, and a pre-tax loss of 401 million pounds, compared with a pre-tax profit of 922 million pounds.
Revenue rose to 8.99 billion pounds from 8.76 billion pounds.
"Reduced passenger and cargo demand and high fuel prices last summer contributed to our 220 million pounds operating loss as our total fuel bill reached almost three billion pounds," chief executive Willie Walsh said.
"The prolonged nature of the global downturn makes this the harshest trading environment we have ever faced and, with no immediate improvement visible, market conditions remain challenging," Walsh said in a statement.