aviation industry

Virus-hit airline group IAG cuts flights

Agence France-Presse

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IAG expects to operate 60% less capacity in the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to a year ago

Airline giant IAG, the owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, announced on Thursday, September 10, it was cutting more flights because of coronavirus restrictions and quarantine rules.

It comes as IAG said it had raised 2.74 billion euros ($3.23 billion) to help the company navigate through the COVID-19 crisis that has decimated travel demand.

IAG expects to operate 60% less capacity in the 3 months to the end of December from a year earlier. That compared with a previously planned capacity reduction of 46%.

The conglomerate blamed the deeper cutbacks on “the impact of current travel restrictions and quarantine requirements on booking activity.”

Total 2020 capacity is expected to be 63% lower than in 2019 – down from previous guidance of minus 59%.

In response to the global health emergency, the London-listed titan embarked upon a massive jobs-slashing efficiency drive, in line with carriers like Air Canada, American Airlines, and Lufthansa.

The European travel giant, whose portfolio also includes Aer Lingus, Level, and Vueling, is in the process of axing 13,000 jobs or more than a quarter of its workforce.

“IAG acted quickly to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, bolster liquidity, and to protect its long-term future,” it added on Thursday.

“The capital increase, together with its quick response to the crisis, should enable the group to emerge from the current pandemic in a strong position.”

The company reiterated guidance that it would take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to pre-pandemic levels. – Rappler.com

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