International Airlines Group, the corporate identity of the merged carriers BA and Iberia, has posted its first financial results, showing improved first quarter operating losses of €102 million.
The figure for the full quarter ending March 31, 2011 compares with combined losses of the two carriers of €238 million in the first quarter of 2010, prior to the merger. Revenues were also up by over 15 per cent, and premium yields by 4.4 per cent.
Unsurprisingly fuel costs were up by over 30 per cent, and IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh described these costs as “the big challenge facing the industry”. However Walsh said that “The continued focus on cost control has been achieved while we have seen some measured increases in capacity. We have been able to increase capacity without additional aircraft and employees, highlighting the good work that has been done in previous years.”
BA and Iberia officially merged on January 24, 2011, with British Airways shareholders holding 56 per cent of IAG and Iberia’s shareholders 44 per cent. The combined group is now the third largest airline group by revenue in Europe, after Lufthansa and Air France-KLM.
Report by Mark Caswell