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Wed 7 Oct 2009 04:00 AM

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Drastic times call for drastic measures

After a year of huge profit losses BA is now selling advertising space to other brands on its website.

It's desperate times for British Airways. Following a year of record-breaking profit losses amounting to £401 million (US$640 million), the UK carrier has now been reduced to selling advertising space to other brands on its website and on the back of boarding passes.

Similar to money-raising moves worthy of a low-cost carrier, the airline has ‘invited' brands to buy advertising space on its website www.ba.com, and the initiative will be extended to boarding passes from October 1, 2009.

BA's media sales agency has labeled it as a "unique move", which is one way to dress up the airline's next step towards becoming a minimal service model. Last month, it announced that it would stop serving meals other than breakfast in economy class during flights of less than two and a half hours.

In a bid to maintain what is left of its reputation, the airline says it will only advertise brands with a "strong heritage and parity" to British Airways' own brand values, but, to its customers, the move only serves to reaffirm the fact that full-service carriers are being forced to find alternative ways to stay financially afloat.

Sarah Cowell is the editor of Aviation Business.

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