International Airlines Group (IAG) has published its results for the first quarter of 2024, showing an operating profit before exceptional items of €68 million – an increase of €59 million on the €9 million recorded in Q1 2023.

Of the group’s individual carriers, Iberia made an operating profit of €70 million, while British Airways reported an operating profit of €20 million. Aer Lingus and Vueling made first quarter operating losses of €82 million and €25 million respectively.

Passenger capacity was up 7 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2023, and the group said it had “continued to invest in the strongly growing Latin America and Caribbean region”, with capacity to the region up 14.4 per cent.

IAG’s Q1 operating profit compares to Lufthansa Group, which made an operating loss of €849 million in the first quarter, and Air France KLM, which also made an operating loss of €489 million over the period.

Last year IAG made a record annual operating profit of €3.507 billion, surpassing the €3.253 billion achieved in pre-pandemic 2019, and CEO Luis Gallego said the group was “well-positioned” for summer 2024, with high demand for travel “a continuing trend”.

“Our transformation initiatives and increased demand, including over the Easter holidays, have delivered another very good set of results with improvements to both revenue and operating profit,” said Gallego.

“Our Group benefits from the strength of our core markets – North Atlantic, South Atlantic and intra-Europe – and the performance of our brands. Investment across the Group in transformation is delivering encouraging improvements in punctuality and customer experience at our airlines. IAG Loyalty continues to perform very well.”

IAG also said that progress towards its acquisition of Air Europa continues, with a package of remedies presented to the European Commission. The group said that its “expectation remains for the process to complete later this year”.