British Airways (BA) wants to increase the frequency of flights between Beijing and London to service growing business traffic, according to Far East general manager Mark Russell. 'On Beijing we've got the opportunity under an air services agreement to increase services up to six a week,' he said. 'We would want to step our frequency up to that.' Mr Russell said the carrier had introduced a Boeing 777 to the route and as it was smaller than a 747, BA was able to increase frequency to five times a week with the same market size. 'And we do know that frequency is one of the key things that drives the business market,' he said. Last year, BA lost out to British-based rival Virgin Airways which was awarded the London to Shanghai route by the British Government. 'The quick answer is yes, we would like to have had that,' said Mr Russell. He said the airline had opened offices in Guangzhou because it saw the areas close to Hong Kong as being significant growth markets. Earlier this month, BA raised fares across its routes by 3 per cent following moves by European rivals to compensate for higher fuel prices. Dale Moss, director of sales worldwide, said the airline had taken on some significant cost gains. 'Even though we're very well hedged we still have some exposure there, and we're trying to assuage that exposure by going back with some fare increases,' he said. Mr Moss said the airline was evaluating Airbus Industries' A3XX superjumbo as part of an ongoing process but had not reached any conclusion about whether to buy. The new aircraft will be larger than Boeing's 416-seat 747. 'This isn't just about chasing volume, this is about chasing profitable volume,' Mr Moss said. In the wake of the crash of an Air France Concorde near Paris in July, BA has been making moves to hold on to its wealthy frequent flyers. Both airlines have had their Concorde fleets grounded pending the results of an investigation into the aircraft's safety. Mr Moss said the carrier had lifted the number of business class seats from 75 to 102 on aircraft coming out of New York and, in some cases, had more business class than economy seats. He said there was no timeframe for when the supersonic service might resume but added: 'We remain cautiously optimistic that we'll get our proud bird back in the air.'