International Airlines Group carried more than 100 million passengers in 2016, a record for the group. In total, Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling carried 100,675,056 passengers which was up by 14 per cent compared to 2015.
International Airlines Group is mulling the launch of a new low-cost transatlantic carrier to rival the growth of Norwegian Airlines. IAG - owner of British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – is planning to use Airbus A330s from Barcelona, the home base of Vueling. The move will allow Vueling to provide feeder traffic for long-haul services.
International Airlines Group has criticised a year’s delay in introducing a ten year visa for Chinese visitors that would drive business and create jobs. The plan was announced in October 2015 during the Chinese state visit to the UK. Willie Walsh, chief executive of IAG, said: “China is the world’s second largest economy and we need to do all we can to encourage these trade links.
Travelport has signed a new agreement with Vueling, which sees the Spanish low-cost airline sign up for Travelport’s industry leading airline merchandising solution, Travelport Rich Content & Branding. The agreement continues Travelport’s long standing relationship with Vueling, and parent company International Airlines Group, and demonstrates the value the airline sees in Travelport’s innovative merchandising and retailing technology.
International Airlines Group will introduce high speed inflight Wi-Fi across its airlines’ short-haul fleets having reached agreement with Inmarsat to be the launch customer of its next generation European air to ground connectivity. Up to 341 short-haul aircraft will be fitted with Inmarsat’s next generation connectivity services to provide a 4G broadband network, giving customers the internet access they expect on the ground while in the air.
International Consolidated Airlines has reported third quarter operating profit of €1,205 million before exceptional items, down from a figure of €1,250 million last year. Passenger unit revenue for the quarter was down 13.7 per cent while constant currency was down 5.9 per cent.
International Airlines Group has welcomed the decision to expand Heathrow but at the same time has warned the government cost to customers must not increase from today’s level if the airport is to have a future. Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “We’re pleased that a decision has finally been made but the cost of this project will make or break it.”
International Airlines Group has launched its global accelerator programme, Hangar 51. Start-ups are invited to pitch to join Hangar 51 and work with one of the world’s largest airline groups, creating next generation travel experiences and finding solutions to real business challenges through lasting and collaborative partnerships.
International Airlines Group has announced a joint business agreement between British Airways and Qatar Airways which will start on October 30th. The joint business will benefit customers by providing better links between the UK, continental Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa, with a greater choice of flights and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. Earlier this year Qatar Airways Group increased its stake in IAG to 20.01 per cent.
Qatar Airways has announced that it now holds 20.01 per cent of International Airlines Group. While Qatar Airways’ interest in IAG is purely financial, the increased shareholding reflects the strength of commercial and strategic ties between the companies and evidences the continued support for the on-going strategy of IAG.
International Consolidated Airlines Group has reported second quarter operating profit €555 million before exceptional items for the six months to June 30th, 2016. This compared to an operating profit of profit of €530 million for the same period last year. Removing recently acquired Aer Lingus from the figures would have left IAG with operating profits of €487 million.
With the peak travel season about to begin, British holidaymakers are set to discover the immediate effects of the vote to the Leave the European Union, with the pound falling and prices increasing abroad. ABTA has assured travellers that there will be no immediate change in European regulations in the face of the UK vote to exit the European Union, claiming: “People due to travel this summer will see little changes to their holiday.