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British Airways' parent company loses £916million in first three months of 2022

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British Airways’ parent company loses £916million in first three months of 2022 as passenger numbers are hit by Omicron variant of Covid

  • BA has cancelled thousands of flights in recent weeks due to staff shortages 
  • Their parent company recorded a heavy loss for the first three months of 2022 
  • Flight capacity in the first three months of the year was 65% of 2019 levels
  • This figure was up from a flight capacity of 58% between October and December

British Airways’ parent company has recorded a heavy loss for the first three months of the year as the Omicron variant of coronavirus reduced passenger numbers.

Pre-tax losses for International Airlines Group (IAG) hit £916 million, although this was an improvement of the £1.2 billion loss in the same period a year ago when Britain was in its third lockdown.

The company said it saw an improvement in business travel during the period, and the overall proportion of seats filled on flights was better than a year ago at the height of global lockdowns.

IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said the company’s losses in the first three months of the year reflect ‘normal seasonality, the impact of Omicron and costs associated with ramping up operations’.

British Airways' parent company has recorded a heavy loss for the first three months of the year as the Omicron variant of coronavirus reduced passenger numbers

British Airways’ parent company has recorded a heavy loss for the first three months of the year as the Omicron variant of coronavirus reduced passenger numbers

Demand is ‘recovering strongly’ and the firm expects to return to profitability during the period from April to June onwards and in 2022 as a whole, he said.

Premium leisure travel is the ‘strongest performing segment’, Mr Gallego said, while business travel is at its highest level since the start of the pandemic.

Flight capacity in the first three months of the year was 65% of 2019 levels, up from 58% between October and December.

This is expected to rise to 80% between April and June, and reach 85% during the following three months.

Capacity on routes across the North Atlantic will be ‘close to fully restored’ between July and September, Mr Gallego said.

BA has cancelled thousands of flights in recent weeks due to staff shortages.

Mr Gallego added: ‘Globally the travel industry is facing challenges as a result of the biggest scaling up in operations in history, and British Airways is no exception.

‘The welcome removal of UK’s stringent travel restrictions, combined with strong pent-up demand, have contributed to a steep ramp up in capacity.

‘The airline’s focus at the moment is on improving operations and customer experience and enhancing operational resilience.’

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