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British Airways owner IAG flies to £1bn loss

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BA planes
BA planes

British Airways-owner IAG reported a €1.2bn (£1bn) pre-tax loss for the three months to the end of March as the pandemic restricted travel, and forecast only a small rise in capacity to 25pc for the April-June quarter.

Flying at just 20pc capacity in the three months to the end of March resulted in the group posting the operating loss before exceptional items of €1.14bn, slightly better than the City had forecast.

IAG, which also owns Iberia and Vueling in Spain and Aer Lingus in Ireland, said it reduced weekly cash burn to €175m, a better performance than had been previously guided.

The group also said it had strong liquidity of €10.5bn at the end of the first quarter.

IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said sales of seats in the three months between April and the end of June remained at 25pc of levels in 2019 and that governments must step up to provide support for reopening.

He said travel corridors without restrictions; affordable and simple testing; contactless border controls and digital vaccination and testing passports were required.

Mr Gallego added: "These measures will enable a safe re-opening of our skies. Travel underpins a global industry that supports 13 million jobs in Europe alone.

"There's a high level of pent-up demand and aviation will play a critical role in reconnecting people and getting economies back up and running again."

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