IAG swings to €5.5bn loss

International Airlines Group (LON: IAG) has reported a €5.56bn loss for the first nine months of the year.

The British Airways owner posted a huge loss as passenger numbers have plunged amid the pandemic this year.

Compared to the pre-tax profit of €1.4bn last year, IAG is calling airport testing and the ending of the two-week quarantine.

Luis Gallego, IAG chief executive, said, “These results demonstrate the negative impact of Covid-19 on our business but they’re exacerbated by constantly changing government restrictions.

“This creates uncertainty for customers and makes it harder to plan our business effectively.

“We are calling on governments to adopt pre-departure testing using reliable and affordable tests with the option of post flight testing to release people from quarantine where they are arriving from countries with high infection rates.

“This would open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence. When we open routes, there is pent up demand for travel.

“However, we continue to expect that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels.

“The Group has made significant progress on restructuring and we continue to reduce our cost base and increase the proportion of our variable costs,” he added.

Since the start of the pandemic, IAG has cut approximately 10,000 jobs and the group warned that normal levels of air travel are unlikely to resume until 2023.

IAG shares (LON: IAG) were up 2.3% in early Friday trading to 92.20p. They have fallen from this year’s previous high of 684.00p.