British Airways, which had been badly hit by employee strikes and the economic recession, has “flown back” into profit. The airline made 158 million pounds in profit in 2010.

Though an increasing number of business customers led to the profit, British Airways chief Willie Walsh said the whole economic recovery could be threatened by the government’s increase in air passenger tax.

From Nov 1, a family of four will have to spend 240 pounds in tax to fly to Florida - up 33 per cent, The Sun reported Saturday.

Mr. Walsh said the tax would stop people “doing business” with Britain.

“It’s making it more expensive for everyone to come to the U.K. - as they have to pay this duty to fly back out again. The treasury believe they will make an extra 2.5 billion pounds a year. But it’s having an even greater negative effect on the economy,” he said.

More In: Companies | Business