International Airlines Group has confirmed it will cut further flights between October and December as a modest recovery in aviation traffic stalls.
The group – which owns British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus – said it now plans to operate 40 per cent of its 2019 capacity during the autumn.
This is a decrease from the 52 per cent of capacity predicted earlier in the year.
IAG said it had seen a “delayed recovery” in demand for air travel, and did not expect things to return to 2019 levels until 2023.
The company, which welcomed a new chief executive this week, also confirmed plans to raise €2.7 billon from shareholders to help its finances.
The company said the money would be used to reduce debt and help it withstand a prolonged downturn in travel.
IAG said it had seen an “almost complete cessation of new booking activity” in April and May due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the easing of country lockdowns boosted ticket sales in June.
However, since July there had been an “overall levelling off in bookings” as the UK and other European countries re-imposed quarantine requirements for travellers returning from countries such as Spain.
British Airways, which has a major presence on transatlantic routes, has also been hard hit by the continuing failure to address Covid-19 in the United States.