British Airways helps boost IAG traffic by 3.2 per cent in October

City A.M. Reporter
INTERNATIONAL Airlines Group yesterday posted a strong rise in October traffic, as a robust performance from British Airways made up for weakness at Spanish sister firm Iberia.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 3.2 per cent versus October 2011, while passenger load factor – a measure of how well it fills its planes – was up 0.4 percentage points at 80.5 per cent, it said.

IAG said its first and business class travel – the most profitable part of its passenger business – rose 3.2 per cent, while non-premium traffic was also up 3.2 per cent.

British Airways’ October traffic was up 6.2 per cent compared to a 3.7 percent fall at Iberia.

IAG has seen worsening economic conditions in Spain hit its performance in recent months, undermining strength in long-haul travel out of London.

The group recently said its commercial performance at its Madrid hub has deteriorated further due to the ongoing effects of challenging macroeconomic conditions in Spain and across the wider Eurozone, as well as the after-effects of prolonged industrial action.

IAG is due to announce a new restructuring plan, including a swathe of job cuts, for Iberia on Friday, having completed one for BA last year.

The Anglo-Spanish group expects underperforming Iberia to push it into a small operating loss for 2012.