British Airways’ owner, IAG, warned of a €3 billion ($3.5 billion) full-year loss after flying only over 40 percent of its capacity during the third quarter, but is pinning hopes on the reopening of more flights next week.
The airline group said that it is counting on the reopening of transatlantic travel to help its business recover after its most lucrative north Atlantic market closed during the pandemic.
IAG’s CEO, Luis Gallego, said that the opening of US borders to foreign nationals on Oct. 8 is a “pivotal moment for our industry”. Gallego expects transatlantic routes to reach 90 percent capacity by next year.
The group reported a loss of €485 million ($560 million) during the third quarter, which was lower than expected and less than the same period last year’s €1.3 billion ($1.5 billion).
Gallego said that the improvement was driven by Iberia, returning to profitability, and Vueling, breaking even at the operating level.
“There is a significant recovery under way, we continue to capitalise on surges in bookings when travel restrictions are lifted,” Gallego said. “All our airlines have shown improvements.”
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