International Airlines Group (IAG) has reported an operating loss of €967 million for the second quarter of 2021. This is a marked improvement on the same period last year, when the company declared losses of €2.2 billion.
The group – which includes Aer Lingus, British Airways Iberia and Vueling in its portfolio – said passenger capacity in quarter two was just 21.9 per cent of 2019.
It expects to fly around 45 per cent of its 2019 capacity in the third quarter of the year, but remains uncertain and subject to ongoing review.
Luis Gallego, IAG chief executive, said: “In the short term, our focus is on ensuring our operational readiness, so we have the flexibility to capitalise on an environment where there’s evidence of widespread pent-up demand when travel restrictions are lifted.
“This is reflected in Iberia’s and Vueling’s results.
“They were the best performers within the group in the second quarter reflecting stronger Latin American and Spanish domestic markets driven by fewer travel restrictions.
“We know that recovery will be uneven, but we’re ready to take advantage of a surge in air travel demand in line with increasing vaccination rates.”
He added: “We welcome the recent announcement that fully vaccinated travellers from amber countries in the EU and the US will no longer have to quarantine upon arrival in the UK.
“We see this as an important first step in fully re-opening the transatlantic travel corridor.”
IAG said it couldn’t provide guidance for 2021 due to ongoing uncertainty over the lifting of travel restrictions and the continuing impact of Covid-19.