IAG traffic up as Air France slashes costs

INTERNATIONAL Airlines Group, formed by the merger of BA and Iberia, posted a rise in passenger traffic for August thanks to continued growth in first-class and business-class travel.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 2.2 per cent versus August 2010, while passenger load factor -- a measure of how well it fills its planes -- was up 0.1 percentage points at 84.9 per cent.

Europe’s second-biggest airline group by value behind Lufthansa said its first and business-class travel -- the most profitable part of its passenger business -- rose 8.7 per cent, while non-premium traffic was up 1.4 per cent.

Meanwhile Air France KLM is eying cost savings of up to €800m (£701.47m) per year to help face down economic uncertainty.

The carrier yesterday met with unions to discuss its deeper than expected cuts plan, which is set to include some job losses as well as a reshuffle of the business.