British Airways parent flies into EUR1.3B loss

LONDON (AFP) – IAG, the owner of British Airways (BA) and Spanish carrier Iberia, dived into a loss totalling EUR1.3 billion (USD1.52 billion) in the third quarter on coronavirus fallout, it announced yesterday.

The operating loss before exceptional items compared with profit of EUR1.4 billion one year earlier, IAG said in statement ahead of a full earnings release due next week.

Revenue slumped 83 per cent to EUR1.2 billion in the reporting period, it added.

IAG said it expects capacity in the current fourth quarter to be no more than 30 per cent compared with a year earlier.

“As a result, the group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flows from operating activities during” the final three months of the year, IAG said.

Retired British Airways Boeing 747-400 parked at Cotsworld Airport in Kemble, England. PHOTO: AP

IAG said bookings had not recovered as expected owing “to additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of Covid-19 infections”.

It pointed to an increase in local lockdowns, an extension of quarantine requirements for travellers and a lack of pre-departure testing.

New British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle on Monday urged the United Kingdom (UK) government to end the quarantining of passengers arriving from abroad. BA, which is slashing thousands of jobs, last week announced the sudden departure of his predecessor Alex Cruz.

Doyle had been CEO at Aer Lingus, which like BA, is owned by airlines group IAG.