International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, said today that it believes the easing of global restrictions and the return of global travel will return it to profitability.
The firm – formed in 2011 through a merger of Iberia and British Airways – said its 1Q 2022 passenger numbers were 65 percent higher than in 2019, up from 58 percent in the previous quarter.
Anglo-Spanish Airlines says it expects to be profitable due to the increase in passenger numbers for the rest of 2022, as it posted a loss of € 731m in the first quarter, compared to a loss of € 1.08bn in the same period last year.
The company said it currently expects passenger numbers to grow rapidly in the coming months, as it predicts 80 percent of 2019 levels will be in Q2, 85 percent in Q3, and 90 percent in Q4.
The firm said higher passenger numbers are being driven in part by strong demand for premium retirement as well as the highest level of business travel since the epidemic began.
The aviation giant blamed Omicron for the large number of cancellations in January and February, but said it had not seen any impact on passenger numbers since the Ukraine war.
AIG chief executive Luis Gallego said: “Demand is recovering in line with our previous expectations. We expect to be profitable from the second quarter and for the whole year. “
“The welcome lifting of the UK’s strict travel restrictions, coupled with strong paint-up demand, has contributed to a steep ramp to power.”