British Airways owner IAG says it is ready to fly as losses again top €1bn

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British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) again called on governments to do more to get people flying again as it posted losses of more than €1bn in its latest quarter.

Revenue in the three months to end-March 2021 dropped by 79% to €968mln with passenger income down by 88% though a rise in freight traffic offset this a little.

Passenger capacity in the quarter was 19.6% of the 2019 level due to the COVID-19 pandemic, together with government restrictions and quarantine requirements.

IAG said it is looking for only a small increase in the current three months to 25% of 2019 capacity but this subject to review and changes to the regulatory environment.

Luis Gallego, IAG’s chief executive, said the airline owner was doing ‘everything in its power to emerge in a stronger competitive position’.

“We’re absolutely confident that a safe re-start to travel can happen as shown by the scientific data.

“We’re ready to fly, but government action is needed through four key measures: Travel corridors without restrictions between countries with successful vaccination rollouts; affordable, simple and proportionate testing to replace quarantine and costly, multi-layered testing; Well-staffed borders and digital passes for testing and vaccinations.

“These measures will enable a safe re-opening of our skies,” he added.

Operating losses in the quarter were €1.14bn compared to €535mln a year ago, with cash operating costs now running at €175mln per week. Losses after tax were €1.07bn (€1.68bn).

The airline owner said available liquidity at the of the period had risen slightly to €10.5bn.

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