British Airways and Iberia parent International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG) saw its passenger traffic rise last month, the company has reported. In a separate development, Reuters reported this week that the company, which also owns Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers Vueling and Level, sees air traffic control (ATC) strikes as a bigger threat to European airlines this year than a rise in fuel prices.
IAG’s share price has advanced in today’s session, having added 0.58 percent to 695.40p as of 10:30 BST, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.08 percent lower at 7,706.29 points. The group’s shares have added more than 17 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a three-percent rise in the Footsie.
IAG’s traffic rose in May
IAG reported in a statement yesterday that its group traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, had increased by 10 percent last month, boosted by strong performance at Aer Lingus and Iberia. IAG’s capacity, measured in available seat kilometres, had come in 7.1 percent higher.
The FTSE 100 company further updated investors on its strategic developments, saying that British Airways had launched the only non-stop flight between Tennessee and Europe with a new route between Nashville and Heathrow, while Aer Lingus had started a new service to Seattle, which marks the airline’s 15th North American route and Ireland’s first direct flight to Seattle.
Air traffic strikes threat
In other IAG news, Reuters quoted the group’s chief executive Willie Walsh as telling the CAPA-Centre for aviation summit in Sydney this week that “from a European context, the thing most impacting is ATC strikes and the ongoing ATC environment which is a mess”.
“It’s destroying traffic through Europe,” he pointed out. Walsh further commented on the prospects for higher fuel prices, noting that that because IAG was hedged for this year, he was not as concerned about the issue this year, but that higher prices would be a challenge for 2019.
easyJet (LON:EZJ) also updated investors on its May traffic yesterday, posting a spike in cancellations.