IAG, the Spanish-British holding company that includes Iberia, British Airways (BA), Vueling, Level and Aer Lingus, has reaped its first quarter with profits after covid-19, although in the photo of the year as a whole it continues to post losses . The airline, which has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels despite gradually approaching, has updated its capacity forecasts for the whole of 2022 and has set it at 78%, mainly due to the challenges of lack of staff and specific problems in some airports such as Heathrow.
According to the information sent by the owner of Iberia to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the company has been driven by strong passenger demand, which is already being felt across all of its airlines. Passenger unit revenue for the second quarter increased by 6.4% compared to 2019, thus offsetting higher fuel costs that the airline industry is also suffering.
Louis Gallego, CEO of IAG, noted that in the second quarter “we have returned to profitability for the first time since the start of the pandemic.” This result, adds Gallego, is driven by the premium vacation segment, which remains solid, while business travel “continues to recover steadily.”
The profit of the group of 287 million corresponds only to the second quarter of the year (April, May and June), since in the accumulated of 2022 IAG continues to make losses for the results of the first quarter, which in the end tend to be the worst in the sector due to the seasonality of the market. As a whole, IAG has reported red numbers in the first six months of the year of 467 million euros.
The main problem in the second quarter was the lack of staff at airports such as Heathrow, in London, which has decided to limit passenger volumes between mid-July and the end of October. There, British Airways, its main British airline, was affected. That is why the capacity of this airline was limited to 69.1% in the second quarter (compared to 57.4% in the first quarter).
On the contrary, the Spanish airlines of the group returned to reap a great result. Iberia and Vueling were the best performing airlines and they were responsible for the domestic market in Spain and the routes to Latin America leading the recovery, with a demand that in June exceeded the levels of 2019.
For the holding company as a whole, the total passenger capacity plans for the rest of 2022 are around 80% in the third quarter and 85% in the fourth quarter, a reduction of 5% in the second half of the year compared with previous forecasts. Finally, capacity for the year as a whole is expected to be around 78% of the 2019 level (compared to 80% previously) and north america routes approach 2019 capacity late in the year.
The market has welcomed this result with optimism. IAG is during this Friday morning one of the values of the IBEX which is better behaved. And the analyst houses have already made their first valuations. Since Rent 4 They assure that the published figures “widely exceed the consensus forecast at the operational level” and “reinforce the level of liquidity to new historical highs”. Bankinterfor its part, agrees that the results are “better than expected”, although they maintain their general recommendation not to take positions in the aviation sector.