BA owner sees “meaningful return” in July

International Airlines Group is planning for a “meaningful return” in flights from July, but says it does not see a recovery in passenger traffic to 2019 levels until 2023.

In a communication to investors, IAG stated:

IAG is planning a meaningful return to service in July with a planning scenario that could see an overall reduction in passenger capacity of c.50% in 2020, but these plans are highly uncertain and subject to the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The group has taken advantages of the UK’s UK’s Coronavirus Corporate Finance Facility and Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial facility. It expects that its second quarter 2020 will be significantly worse than the first quarter.

British Airways has formally notified its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy programme which is subject to consultation.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive stated:

We are working with the various regulatory bodies and are confident that changes in regulations will enable a safe and organised return to service. The industry will adapt to new requirements in the same way that it has adapted to developments in security requirements in the past. However, we do not expect passenger demand to recover to the level of 2019 before 2023 at the earliest. This means Group-wide restructuring is essential in order to get through the crisis and preserve an adequate level of liquidity. We intend to come out of the crisis as a stronger Group.

In addition, IAG Chairman Antonio Vazquez has announced today that Luis Gallego will succeed Willie Walsh as Group Chief Executive on 24 September.

Antonio Vazquez said:

We announced in March that Willie would delay his retirement for a short period. We can confirm today that Luis Gallego will take over the leadership on 24 September, the expected date for IAG’s AGM, when Willie will step down as CEO. We are grateful that Willie delayed his retirement at this challenging time providing the airlines’ management with the necessary stability to focus on the immediate response to the crisis. We look forward to working closely with Luis in his new role.