Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Aircraft grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including planes operated by British Airways, are pictured on the apron at London Gatwick Airport near Crawley, southern England on May 1, 2020.

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

British Airways owner IAG warned the travel slump from the coronavirus pandemic had deepened, forcing it to axe even more of its winter flying schedule after it reported on Thursday a quarterly loss of €1.3-billion ($1.54-billion).

The loss was far larger than the €920-million forecast by analysts, as passenger numbers plunged and it struggled to even half-fill its planes, illustrating the scale of the challenge faced by IAG’s new boss, Luis Gallego, who took over in September.

As a second wave of COVID-19 infections spreads across Europe, airlines are facing a bleak winter and IAG joins Lufthansa, Ryanair and easyJet in cutting back already anemic schedules.

Story continues below advertisement

IAG, which also operates Iberia and Vueling in Spain and Aer Lingus in Ireland, said that for the fourth quarter - which includes the normally busy Christmas period - it would fly no more than 30% of the capacity it flew a year earlier, lower than previous guidance of 40%.

Shares in the company dropped 3% to 97 pence at 0816 GMT. The stock has lost 78% in the year-to-date as the pandemic has crushed its business.

With less flying ahead, the group warned it no longer expected to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter, but said that liquidity was strong.

The company has raised €2.74-billion from shareholders via a rights issue and received the funds in early October, raising its total liquidity to €9.3-billion.

Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said even with that buffer IAG needed to focus on reducing costs.

“Management will need to significantly lower monthly cash burn to avoid significantly depleting resources by next summer,” he said.

But Goodbody analysts said that total liquidity was positive and IAG would be ready for a recovery in demand next spring.

Story continues below advertisement

IAG said it was operating in an environment of “high uncertainty.” It has been calling for COVID-19 tests at airports to replace quarantine requirements and said that governments had been slower than it expected to adopt such measures.

IAG said it would provide more detailed results on Oct. 30.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies