British Airways proprietor IAG posts 1.three billion euro loss, cuts schedule

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A British Airways Boeing 747 is seen at the Heathrow Airport in London

LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways owner IAG (L:) reported a 1.3 billion euro third-quarter loss on Thursday as coronavirus restrictions depressed travel, forcing it to further cut its flying schedule for the rest of the year.

The loss was far larger than the 920 million euros forecast by analysts, illustrating the scale of the challenge faced by IAG’s new boss Luis Gallego who took over in September.

As a second wave of COVID-19 infections spreads across Europe, airlines are facing a bleak winter and IAG joins Lufthansa, Ryanair and easyJet (LON:) in cutting back already anaemic schedules.

IAG said on Thursday that for the fourth quarter it would fly no more than 30% of the capacity it flew a year earlier, lower than previous guidance of 40%.

With less flying, the group warned it no longer expected to reach breakeven in terms of net cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter, but said that liquidity was strong.

The company has raised 2.74 billion euros from shareholders and received the funds in early October, raising its total liquidity to 9.3 billion euros.

IAG said third-quarter revenue fell 83% to 1.2 billion euros in results released a week earlier than expected, saying it was operating in an environment as “high uncertainty”.

German rival Lufthansa also released its results early, reporting a 1.26 billion euro loss on Tuesday.

IAG said it would provide more detailed results on Oct.30.

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