IAG reported an operating loss of €452 million in the third quarter of 2021 as it continues to rebuild passenger capacity in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdown.
The company, which owns British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus, hit 43.4% capacity in Q3 compared to the same period in 2019. This was up from 21.9% in Q2 and the company is eyeing a 60% of pre-pandemic capacity in the final quarter.
The company is now eyeing the return of long-haul travel in the coming months, starting with the reopening of trans-Atlantic trips this month.
IAG Chief Executive Officer Luis Gallego said: “There’s a significant recovery underway and our teams across the Group are working hard to capture every opportunity. We continue to capitalise on surges in bookings when travel restrictions are lifted.
“All our airlines have shown improvements with the Group’s operating loss more than halved compared to previous quarters. In Q3, our operating cash flow was positive for the first time since the start of the pandemic and our liquidity is higher than ever, reaching €12.1 billion on a pro forma basis at the end of October.
“The full reopening of the transatlantic travel corridor from Monday is a pivotal moment for our industry. British Airways is serving more US destinations than any transatlantic carrier and we’re delighted that we can get our customers flying again.
The power of long-haul
“Long-haul traffic has been a significant driver of revenue, with bookings recovering faster than short-haul as we head into the winter. Premium leisure is performing strongly at both Iberia and British Airways and there are early signs of a recovery in business travel.
“Iberia and Vueling continued to be the best performers within the Group in the third quarter. Iberia returned to profitability while Vueling reached breakeven at the operating level. Both seized opportunities to strengthen their positions on routes to Latin America and the Spanish domestic market.”…