British Airways yesterday clinched a deal on changing working practices for cabin crew at Gatwick Airport which will save £13.2 million a year.
Under the new deal, the 1,800 cabin crew at Gatwick will fly long and short-haul routes rather one or other.
Around 1,000 crew are employed on long-haul services and 800 on short-haul but from October a single crew force will operate all flights.
BA said the deal, accepted in a ballot, meant better productivity and cost cuts.
Chief executive Willie Walsh said: "This agreement will remove duplication and introduce more efficient working practices while maintain-ing standards."
BA added no jobs will be lost. Meanwhile, the airline said passenger numbers rose four per cent in the first three months of its financial year to the end of June against the same quarter in 2005.
But Mr Walsh said in a statement at the company's annual general meeting business growth was not confined to short-haul destinations, with services to India in particular more than doubling in the last 12 months from 19 flights per week to 42.
"Apart from the US, India is now our largest overseas market," Mr Walsh said.
The company's short-haul business returned to profit for the first time in ten years.
"We have shown we won't be swept away. This move into profit is just the beginning," Mr Walsh added.
BA chairman Martin Broughton said he hoped for a "swift outcome" to an ongoing probe by the Office of Fair Trading and the US Department of Justice into fuel surcharges.
The UK flag carrier is assisting with the inquiry and has given leave of absence to two senior executives, Martin George, commercial director, and Iain Burns, head of communications.