Published on Thursday, May 7, 2020

IAG plans for 'meaningful return' in July

IAG is planning for a 'meaningful return to service in July 2020 at the earliest' depending on the easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

But CEO Willie Walsh said the group, which owns British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus, doesn't expect passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels before 2023 at the earliest.

Announcing a first quarter operating loss before exceptional items of €535 million, compared with an operarting profit of €135 million for the same three months last year, Walsh said the oubreak has had a 'devastating impact' on the global airline and travel sectors.

IAG's passenger capacity has been reduced by 94% since late March.

It is planning for an overall reduction in passenger capacity of around 50% in 2020, but said these plans are 'highly uncertain' and subject to the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

"We will adapt our operating procedures to ensure our customers and our people are properly protected in this new environment," he said.

"We are working with the various regulatory bodies and are confident that changes in regulations will enable a safe and organised return to service. The industry will adapt to new requirements in the same way that it has adapted to developments in security requirements in the past."

IAG said it was not currently providing profit guidance for 2020 given the uncertainty on the impact and duration of the pandemic.

BA has started consultation for up to 12,000 redundancies across its workforce.

Meanwhile, Iberia and Vueling have secured loans from the Spanish Government for €750 million and €260 million respectively.


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