British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group reports massive profit increase

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced a significant increase in profits for the first quarter of the year, citing high demand for travel and lower fuel costs as key factors. The company, which owns British Airways (BA) as well as Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling, reported an operating profit of €68m (£58.5m), surpassing expectations and a substantial improvement from the €9m (£7.7m) profit reported during the same period in 2023.

IAG attributed its strong earnings to robust demand, particularly during the Easter holidays, and a 5% decrease in fuel costs compared to the first quarter of last year. This decrease was a result of lower prices and more efficient aircraft deliveries. BA and IAG’s other airlines experienced a noticeable increase in ticket sales for flights between major European cities, particularly for leisure trips.

Luis Gallego, IAG’s Chief Executive, stated that the group’s airlines have already secured over 80% of projected bookings for the second quarter and more than 40% for the third quarter. In terms of revenue, IAG reported a total of €6.4bn (£5.5bn), a significant increase from €5.9bn (£5.1bn) in the same period last year.

IAG’s success stands in contrast to its European competitors, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, which both reported lower-than-expected results for the first quarter. Gallego commented on the company’s performance, saying, “Our transformation initiatives and increased demand, including over the Easter holidays, have delivered another very good set of results with improvements to both revenue and operating profit. Our group benefits from the strength of our core markets – North Atlantic, South Atlantic, and intra-Europe – and the performance of our brands. Investment in transformation across the group has resulted in improved punctuality and customer experience for our airlines.”

He added, “We are well-positioned for the summer, as high demand for travel continues to be a trend. The impact of the recent Israel-Hamas conflict on our company has been limited.” This impressive performance comes despite BA being ranked as one of the worst airlines for customer satisfaction in a recent survey by Which?. In response, the airline stated that it always strives to get passengers to their destinations on time and apologizes for any disruptions they may have experienced.

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