Loss for BA owner

IAG owns BA at Gatwick and Heathrow, British Midland and Iberia Photo: Google images

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced losses of around £200 million.

Passengers numbers are up around five per cent in the last month but the losses are put down to a big rise in the cost of fuel and losses associated with the perchase of British Midland. IAG owns BA at Gatwick and Heathrow, British Midland and Iberia. Chief Executive Willie Walsh said: “We made an operating loss of €4 million in the quarter, including €50 million of bmi losses, before exceptional items. While our revenue performance was good, up 11.5 per cent, this was countered by an increased fuel bill of €314 million, a rise of 25.1 per cent.

“For the half year, we made an operating loss of €253 million, before exceptional items, with revenue up 9.8 per cent and fuel costs up 25.0 per cent.

“Our synergies programme continues apace and we remain on track to deliver our 2012 targets and €500 million annual benefits by 2015.

“While we have made specific investments for longer term commercial benefits such as the Olympic sponsorship and Master brand advertising at British Airways and the development of our Avios frequent flyer currency, we remain focused on stringent cost control across the Group.

“bmi restructuring costs accounted for most of the €38 million of exceptional items. These costs and the airline’s losses are in line with our expectations. The integration of bmi mainline into British Airways is going well with completion due by the year end.

“There remains a stark difference in the performance of our subsidiaries. British Airways made an operating profit despite rising fuel prices while Iberia’s losses deepened.

“Iberia’s problems are deep and structural and the economic environment reinforces the need for permanent structural change. We are currently working on a restructuring plan for Iberia which we anticipate will be finalised by the end of September. This is likely to include short term downsizing, network reshaping to deliver higher unit revenues and a re-evaluation of all aspects of the business to deliver competitive costs and service to enable long-term profitable growth. Inevitably, we will not be able to avoid job losses as part of this process.

“There has been an excellent start made by Iberia’s new cost effective subsidiary Iberia Express, which was profitable in its third full month of operation in June and has established an exemplary operating performance from Madrid Barajas.”