IAG, the owner of British Airways and Iberia, Spain, suffered a loss of more than EUR 4 billion last year. And the coronavirus crisis is not over, the company warns. Because of the continuing uncertainty, IAG is also hesitant to give a financial perspective.
CEO Luis Gallego calls for an international test policy and a clear roadmap to reduce the current coronavirus restrictions at the right time, so that more flights can be flown again.
“We advocate international common testing standards and the introduction of digital health passes to safely reopen our airspace.”
According to experts, the tightened coronavirus measures and travel restrictions of the past two months pose a threat to the upcoming summer season, an important period for the travel industry. It is feared that some airlines will soon need further financial support.
For UK-based airlines, there was good news recently, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented a plan for the gradual abolition of coronavirus measures. That immediately created a stream of bookings of airline tickets. According to Johnson, easing around international travel is not expected until May 17. It is also not yet clear what this will mean for IAG’s long-haul flights.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, the entire aviation sector is in a very difficult situation. Air France-KLM suffered a loss of more than 7 billion euros last year, it was announced last week. Top man Ben Smith spoke of the worst crisis ever for the aviation industry. Thousands of jobs have also been cut at KLM due to the crisis. The Dutch and French authorities have already made available billions of euros in state aid to help the company, but more money is probably needed. That is still being discussed.