IAG traffic numbers rise in November

City A.M. Reporter
INTERNATIONAL Airlines Group, formed by the merger of BA and Iberia, has posted a 2.1 per cent rise in passenger traffic in November, boosted by 4.6 per cent growth in premium traffic.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 2.1 per cent versus November 2010, while passenger load factor – a measure of how well it fills its planes – was down 0.3 percentage points at 75.3 per cent.

IAG said its first and business-class travel – the most profitable part of its passenger business – rose 4.6 per cent, while non-premium traffic was up 1.6 per cent.

Industry body IATA last week said international passenger traffic growth had slowed in recent months and that it expects to suffer from waning consumer confidence, sluggish international trade and high fuel prices in 2012.

IAG, which recently agreed to buy Lufthansa’s British unit bmi, last month reported a 31 per cent fall in third-quarter profit, better than expected and outperforming peers. However, its traffic growth has slowed in recent months.

International Airlines Group said last week its transatlantic joint venture with American Airlines would continue to operate as normal after the US carrier filed for bankruptcy protection.

“We have every confidence in the future of American Airlines. We are pleased they are taking this step which shows commitment and determination,” IAG said in a statement.

Budget rival Ryanair fared less well last month, seeing its passenger numbers fall eight per cent to 4.68m in November after it grounded up to 80 aircraft due to higher oil prices.

Shares in IAG beat the market to rise 2.9 per cent yesterday, while Ryanair rose 1.6 per cent.