British Airways’ owner IAG is planning to further cut back capacity for the rest of 2020 due to the “high uncertainty of the current environment”.
IAG, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, plans to run capacity in the final three months of the year at “no more than 30%” of the levels it operated during the same period in 2019.
The company had already announced that it would be cutting fourth quarter capacity by around 60% due to the “levelling off of bookings following the reintroduction of quarantine requirements by many European governments”.
Stephen Gunning, IAG’s chief financial officer, added: “Recent overall bookings have not developed as previously expected due to additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of Covid-19 infections, including an increase in local lockdowns and extension of quarantine requirements to travellers from an increasing number of countries.
“At the same time, initiatives designed to replace quarantine periods and increase customer confidence to book and travel, such as pre-departure testing and air corridor arrangements, have not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated.”
During its third quarter, IAG saw total revenue slump by 83% to €1.2 billion – down from €7.3 billion in 2019 – leading to an operating loss of €1.3 billion for the three-month period.
Capacity fell by 78.6% year-on-year while passenger traffic was down by 88% and the load factor dropped to 48.9% during the quarter.
IAG insisted that its liquidity “remains strong” with €9.3 billion in cash and facilities available to the company.