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Published on Friday, October 30, 2020

IAG calls for 'reliable and affordable tests' as it reveals massive loss

IAG has called for governments to implement airport tests that are both reliable and affordable, after reporting a loss after tax and exceptional items of €5.6 billion (£5.1 billion) in the first nine months of the year.

The loss compares with a profit of €1.8 billion (£1.6 billion) during the same period in 2019.

IAG said it increased its flying programme in the third quarter, partly driven by summer demand.

CEO Luis Gallego said there is pent-up demand for travel, but this is adversely affected volatile government restrictions and quarantine requirements.

IAG said: "In response to the high uncertainty of the current environment IAG now plans for capacity in quarter 4 to be no more than 30 per cent compared to 2019.

"As a result, the Group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during quarter 4."

IAG CEO Luis Gallego said: "We are calling on governments to adopt pre-departure testing using reliable and affordable tests with the option of post flight testing to release people from quarantine where they are arriving from countries with high infection rates.

"This would open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence. When we open routes, there is pentup demand for travel.

"However, we continue to expect that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels."

By Lisa James, Deputy Editor (UK)

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