British Airways owner back in profit for first time since pandemic but turbulence persists

British Airways’ owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) has cruised into the black for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The airline giant said it made an operating profit of €293 million (£245m) between April and June, compared with a €967m (£810m) loss during the same period last year. It expects operating profit before exceptional items to be “positive” for 2022 as a whole if there are “no further setbacks related to Covid-19 and government-imposed restrictions or material impacts from geopolitical developments”.

IAG said the “challenging operational environment at Heathrow” meant that BA’s capacity was limited to 69.1 per cent of pre-pandemic levels between April and June. That compares with 57.4 per cent during the previous three months.

The carrier, which has cancelled thousands of flights this summer, plans to increase its capacity to around 75 per cent between July and October.

IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said: “Our industry continues to face historic challenges due to the unprecedented scaling up in operations, especially in the UK where the operational challenges of Heathrow Airport have been acute. Our airline teams remain focused on enhancing operational resilience and improving customer experience.”

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, noted: “There has been supercharged demand for international travel post pandemic that IAG has capitalised on, with particularly strong demand for flights to Spain and Latin America.

“As peak summer travel eases in September, the airport chaos should start to ease off, particularly with Heathrow’s move to put a limit on daily passenger capacity.”

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British Airways is one of the carriers that forms part of International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG). Picture: John Devlin
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