British Airways owner IAG wants to see green list before scheduling more flights


British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) said it was being cautious with reopening plans because of the uncertainty about which countries it will be allowed to fly to and under what restrictions

The airline group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, flew less than 20% of the 2019 schedule in the first three months of 2021 but has only increased capacity to 25% for the current quarter due to the current restrictions.

That compares to 50% for Air France and 40% for German peer Lufthansa.

The UK is set to publish its “green list” today of perceived low-risk places where people can travel without needing to quarantine on their return. 

Louis Gallego, IAG’s chief executive, said he was expecting only a small number of countries initially to be on this list with more being added from June onwards.

“Part of the reason we’re not giving guidance (for third-quarter capacity) is simply that we don’t know what’s on the green list yet,” Steve Gunning, chief financial officer, told reporters in a press conference after first-quarter numbers.

Gallego added, however, that he expected more flights would be scheduled from July onwards and that the company was prepared for that.

Earlier, IAG had reported another €1bn plus loss for the three months to end-March 2021.

Liberum said the loss as expected, with pandemic-related travel restrictions severely limited activity.

“No indication on Q3 capacity plans may disappoint, but reflects the lack of visibility on governments’ plans to relax international travel restrictions.

“The FY outlook is highly sensitive to this, although liquidity remains strong. We see a strong medium-term recovery already priced in, so our recommendation remains HOLD with a 215p target price.”

Shares eased slightly to 206.9p.


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