International Airlines Group (IAG) has posted its results for the first quarter of 2019, with operating profit down by 60 per cent from €340 million (before exceptional items) to €135 million.

Total revenue was up 5.9 per cent, but passenger revenue per available seat mile was down slightly by 0.8 per cent.

Capacity increased by just over 6 per cent, driven principally by growth at Iberia, Level and Aer Lingus. Level this week announced a new route between Paris Orly and Las Vegas, and recently launched a new short-haul base at Amsterdam Schiphol.

Commenting on the results Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“In a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter, we remained profitable and are reporting an operating profit of €135 million.

“At constant currency, non-fuel unit costs were down 0.6 per cent while passenger unit revenue decreased by 1.4 per cent.”

IAG said that at current fuel prices and exchange rates, it expected its operating profit for this year to be “in line” with 2018, with passenger unit revenue flat, and non-fuel unit costs improving.

In February IAG posted pre-tax profits of €3.2 billion for the full year to December 31, 2018, up 9.5 per cent on the previous year.