British Airways says Sept traffic slips 0.7 pct

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LONDON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - British Airways said on Wednesday its September passenger traffic fell by 0.7 percent on the same month last year.

But stronger business and first-class traffic supported its shares, which were up 3.1 percent at 422 pence at 1338 GMT.

First and business class traffic rose by 6.6 percent while non-premium traffic was down by 2 percent.

''Market conditions are broadly unchanged,'' BA said in a statement. ''The outlook for longhaul premium travel continues to be encouraging,'' it added.

Last month, the airline signalled its confidence with an billion order for new planes that envisaged capacity growth of up to 4 percent a year.

Its load factor -- a measure of how efficiently it filled planes -- fell by 0.8 percentage points to 78.3 percent of capacity.

REUTERS SI KP2007

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