IAG, the owner of British Airways, has returned to profitability for the first time since the Covid epidemic began, despite dealing with a “difficult” atmosphere at Heathrow Airport.
The number of flights and passengers handled by the company, according to the corporation, has significantly increased.
In the second quarter, operating earnings totaled £245 million, as opposed to a loss of £809 million during the same time last year.
IAG did, however, also issue a caution over the status of the sector.
Due to extensive staff shortages and strike action this year, airlines and airports have experienced significant disruption.
Luis Gallego, the CEO of IAG, stated that “our industry continues to face historic problems due to the enormous scaling up in operations, especially in the UK where the operational challenges of Heathrow Airport have been intense.”
British Airways had to reduce its capacity to 69.1 percent of pre-pandemic levels between April and June, according to the corporation, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, because of problems at Heathrow.
As aviation emerges from its worst crisis ever, “we will continue working with the industry to address these challenges,” Mr. Gallego said.
According to IAG, British Airways will increase its capacity to around 75% between July and October.
The company’s Iberia and Vueling brands had the best three-month performance, helped by strong demand for flights within Spain and to destinations in Latin America.
Both were higher last month than they were in 2019.
Since demand isn’t weakening, Mr. Gallego expressed his expectation that the airline would resume yearly profitability this year.
A robust recovery in demand across all of our airlines allowed us to generate a profit for the first time since the epidemic began in the second quarter, he added. This outcome “supports our outlook for an operational profit for the whole year.”
In comparison to the first quarter, “our performance indicated a significant improvement in capacity, load factor, and yield.”
The share price of IAG increased by 3.3 percent in early Friday trade.
Since the relaxation of Covid limitations, British Airways have been forced to cancel close to 30,000 flights as it struggles with staffing issues and a resurgent demand for air travel.
The lack of ground handling staff and ticketing agents at airports, many of whom were fired during the pandemic and have not yet been replaced, has made the situation worse.
Ryanair and Heathrow Airport got into a fight this week, with the airline claiming that airports had not hired enough employees to handle the increase in travelers and that they “had one job to do too.”
Heathrow responded to the criticism by calling it “bizarre,” though.
“Ground handling is a service supplied by airlines, not by airports. In other words, this is like saying we don’t have enough pilots,” said John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s top executive.