Coronavirus hits outlook for British Airways


Profit after tax slumped to €1.72 billion (£1.47bn) last year from almost €2.9bn in 2018, International Airlines Group (IAG) said in an earnings statement (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images).
Profit after tax slumped to €1.72 billion (£1.47bn) last year from almost €2.9bn in 2018, International Airlines Group (IAG) said in an earnings statement (Photo: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images).

BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA)-parent IAG on Friday (28) said annual net profit dived 41 per cent on higher fuel costs and strikes at BA, adding that the outlook was “adversely affected” by the coronavirus.



Profit after tax slumped to €1.72 billion (£1.47bn) last year from almost €2.9bn in 2018, International Airlines Group (IAG) said in an earnings statement.

Chief executive Willie Walsh said 2019 had been “a year affected by disruption and higher fuel prices”, while IAG added that “the earnings outlook is adversely affected by weaker demand as a result of coronavirus”.

IAG last month said Walsh was standing down on March 26 after a long stint that saw him oversee the group’s creation and rapid expansion. He is being replaced by Luis Gallego, head of IAG’s Spanish airline Iberia.



Separately on Friday, British no-frills carrier EasyJet said that in order to “mitigate the impact from COVID-19”, the airline would deliver “operational efficiency and cost savings across a number of areas of the business”, including recruitment.

“Following the increased incidence of COVID-19 cases in northern Italy, we have seen a significant softening of demand,” EasyJet said in a statement.

“Further, we are also seeing some slower demand across our other European markets.



“As a result we will be making decisions to cancel some flights, particularly those into and out of Italy, while continuing to monitor the situation and adapting our flying programme to support demand,” EasyJet added.