Friday 7 May 2021 7:36 am

British Airways owner IAG posts €1.1bn loss as passengers remain grounded

British Airways owner IAG today reported an operating loss of more than €1.1bn for the first quarter as the pandemic kept passenger numbers low.

Passenger capacity for the first three months of the year was 19.6 per cent of 2019 due to government restrictions and quarantine requirements.

IAG hopes to push passenger numbers up to around 25 per cent of the 2019 capacity in the next quarter, but uncertainties remain.

The company said it reduced weekly cash burn to €175m, a better performance than previous guidance of €185m. Meanwhile, it had strong liquidity of €10.5bn at the end of the first quarter.

The airlines group also reaffirmed its pledge to power ten per cent of its flights with sustainable fuel by 2030.

Luis Gallego, CEO of IAG, said that the company was doing everything in its power to emerge stronger from the pandemic and was confident in a safe re-start to travel.

Gallego said that government action is needed through travel corridors, affordable testing, well-staffed borders, and vaccine passports to spark life back into the travel industry.

“These measures will enable a safe reopening of our skies. Travel underpins a global industry that supports 13 million jobs in Europe alone.

“There’s a high level of pent-up demand and aviation will play a critical role in reconnecting people and getting economies back up and running again.”