The price of shares in FTSE 100 International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) has dropped by 4.19% to 188.42p (as of 14:15 BST) after operating losses for the first quarter exceeded €535 million before exceptional items. Total revenues for the period were down 13.4% and management have said that they do not expect passenger demand to recover before 2023.
CEO Willie Walsh commented: “The operating result up to the end of February was in line with a year ago. However, March’s performance was severely affected by government travel restrictions due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 which significantly impacted demand. Most of the loss in the quarter occurred in the last two weeks of March.
“We had a strong balance sheet and liquidity position coming into this crisis. We are taking all appropriate actions to preserve cash, reduce and defer both capital spending and operating costs and secure additional financing in order to strengthen and maintain our liquidity. At the end of April our liquidity stood at €10.0 billion.
“We are planning for a meaningful return to service in July 2020 at the earliest, depending on the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions around the world. We will adapt our operating procedures to ensure our customers and our people are properly protected in this new environment. We are working with the various regulatory bodies and are confident that changes in regulations will enable a safe and organised return to service. The industry will adapt to new requirements in the same way that it has adapted to developments in security requirements in the past“.