British Airways owner sees record summer profit

The parent company of British Airways has reported record profit for summer 2023 after strong demand for European holidays.

For the third quarter, International Airlines Group (IAG) reported operating profit before exceptional items of €1.7bn, up from €1.2bn a year earlier. Operating margin rose to 20.2%, from 16.6% in the third quarter last year.

“During the third quarter we saw sustained strong demand across all our routes, in particular the North and South Atlantic and in all leisure destinations around Europe,” said IAG chief executive Luis Gallego.

The company also benefited from lower fuel prices, with fuel unit costs for the quarter down 6.2% year-on-year.

Capacity for the full year is expected to reach 96% of pre-pandemic levels, said IAG, which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Spanish low-cost airline Vueling.

Customer bookings for the fourth quarter are “as expected” with around 75% of passenger revenue already booked, but the company said it was “mindful of wider macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties that might affect the remainder of this year”.