LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways owner IAG reported a 1.3 billion euro loss in the third quarter on Thursday since coronavirus pandemic restrictions, forcing the Airways to scale back its flight schedule for the rest of the year.
The loss was much larger than the €920 million that analysts had predicted, illustrating the scale of the challenge faced by the new IAG chief Luis Gallego, who took office in September.
As the second wave of COVID-19 spreads across Europe, airlines are facing a bleak winter and IAG joins Lufthansa, Ryanair and easyJet in scaling back their flight schedules, which are significantly deteriorating.
IAG said Thursday that it will not operate any flights in the fourth quarter that are more than 30% of the number of flights it organized a year ago, down from the previous rate of 40%.
With fewer flights, the group warned that it no longer expects to break-even in terms of net cash flow from operations in the fourth quarter, but stated that available fund is strong.
The company raised 2.74 billion euros from shareholders and received the funds in early October, bringing its total cash to 9.3 billion euros.
IAG said “third-quarter revenue was 83% lower than expected revenue of €1.2 billion in results released a week ago“, saying it was operating in an environment of “high uncertainty”.
German competitor Lufthansa also announced its results early, reporting a loss of 1.26 billion euros on Tuesday. IAG said “we would provide more detailed results on October 30“.