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British Airways sinks deeper into red

British Airways sinks deeper into red

International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, has recorded a cumulative loss of €5.6 billion, up till September.

Its latest quarterly loss, published Friday, was €1.76 billion euros, a fallout of the worsening Covid-19 crisis that has decimated demand for global air travel.

The loss after taxation in the three months to September contrasted with net profit of 1.0 billion euros a year earlier, IAG announced in a statement.

The company resumed flights over the summer, following the national lockdown, but only operates a greatly reduced volume of services.

Revenue plunged 83 percent to 1.2 billion euros in the reporting period, according to IAG which had already outlined its dire quarterly performance last week.

The group repeated on Friday that it suffered an operating loss before exceptional items of 1.3 billion euros, after profit of 1.4 billion euros a year earlier.

“These results demonstrate the negative impact of Covid-19 on our business but they’re exacerbated by constantly changing government restrictions,” said IAG Chief Executive Luis Gallego.

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“This creates uncertainty for customers and makes it harder to plan our business effectively.”

IAG urged governments worldwide to embrace pre-departure testing to enable safer air travel.

“We are calling on governments to adopt pre-departure testing using reliable and affordable tests with the option of post flight testing to release people from quarantine where they are arriving from countries with high infection rates,” said Gallego.

“This would open routes, stimulate economies and get people travelling with confidence.

“When we open routes, there is pent-up demand for travel. However, we continue to expect that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels.”

New British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle has already urged the UK government to end the quarantining of passengers arriving from abroad.

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