British Airways owner: Air travel demand unlikely to fully recover before 2023
British Airways owner IAG says demand for air travel is unlikely to fully recover before 2023.
International Airlines Group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, was publishing further details of its July-September period on Friday after announcing a worse-than-expected quarterly loss of €1.3bn (£1.17bn) last week.
Luis Gallego, who took over as IAG’s chief executive officer in September, 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.”
He joined called for governments to introduce pre-departure testing using reliable and affordable tests, with the option of post-flight testing to release people from quarantine.
“This would open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence,” he added.
“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.”
IAG said it has cut cash operating costs by 54% and Mr Gallego said “significant progress” had been made on restructuring.
Staff numbers have been cut by 10,000, most of the jobs being lost at BA.
Overnight two other airline groups presented financial results – Japan Airlines and Air France/KLM.
Japan Airlines said it expects a record operating loss of up to 380 billion yen (£2.81bn) in the year to the end of March, with demand expected to be at less than 50% by then, due to the pandemic.
The airline posted a second quarter operating loss of 92.9 billion yen, compared with a profit of 82.9 billion a year ago.
Air France/KLM revealed a €1.05bn (£950m) quarterly operating loss and a 67% drop in third-quarter revenue to €2.52bn (£2.3bn).
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