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Published on Friday, February 26, 2021

BA parent calls for digital health passes as losses sink to £6.5b

International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways, sunk to a £6b loss in 2020 after operating just a third of usual capacity during the Covid-ravaged year.  

The huge deficit compared to a profit in 2019 of £1.5b.

Revenue fell from £22b to £6.8b, a decline of 70%.

The wretched financial result came as IAG called for the introduction of digital health passes to 'safely reopen our skies'.

IAG Chief Executive Luis Gallego said: "Our results reflect the serious impact that Covid-19 has had on our business.

"We have taken effective action to preserve cash, boost liquidity and reduce our cost base.

"The Group continues to reduce its cost base and increase the proportion of variable costs to better match market demand. We're transforming our business to ensure we emerge in a stronger competitive position."

IAG, which also owns Aer Lingus and Iberia, said it operated just 26.6% of capacity between October and December and will operate just one in five flights during the first three months of 2021.

In a more upbeat note, Gallego said there was 'pent up demand for travel and people want to fly'.

"Vaccinations are progressing well and global infections are going in the right direction. We're calling for international common testing standards and the introduction of digital health passes to reopen our skies safely."

IAG said it would not provide a trading update or profit guidance given the uncertainty surroudning future travel.

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