British Airways owner continues to rack up big losses

British Airways owner the International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) continued to rack up big losses as passenger numbers remained low due to international travel restrictions.

A line of British Airways planes at London City Airport
A line of British Airways planes at London City Airport

The airline said passenger numbers in the first three months of the year were just 19.6% of levels seen in 2019, as it recorded a pre-tax loss for the period of 1.22 billion euros (£1.1 billion).

IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said sales of seats in the three months between April and the end of June remain at 25% of levels in 2019 and governments must step up to provide support for reopening.

He said travel corridors without restrictions; affordable and simple testing; contactless border controls and digital vaccination and testing passports were required.

Mr Gallego added: “These measures will enable a safe re-opening of our skies. Travel underpins a global industry that supports 13 million jobs in Europe alone.

“There’s a high level of pent-up demand and aviation will play a critical role in reconnecting people and getting economies back up and running again.”