British Airways fires 3,000 as airline industry turns ugly

British Airways lost $485 million for the six months that ended in September. The airline's CEO Willie Walsh told the BBC that this has been the "most difficult year in the history of British Airways". BA is planning to cut 3,000 more workers in an attempt to return to profitability, but the firm's outlook for an improvement in passenger traffic is bleak.

The BA news should not be seen in isolation. After a brief period in which analysts and traders hoped for a full-scale turnaround in the global airlines industry, those sentiments have faded. The dismay is reflected in the stock prices of US-based airlines. Shares of American (AMR) are down about 25 percent in the last month, and most stocks in the sector are off more than 10 percent.