Category Archives: International Airlines Group

International Airlines Group announces intent to buy 200 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes

Boeing has made this announcement:

One of the world’s largest airline groups announced today it plans to build its future fleet with the Boeing 737 MAX with an intention to purchase 200 MAX jets.

International Airlines Group (IAG) and Boeing said the two companies have been in discussions regarding the opportunity and signed a letter of intent at the Paris Air Show in a deal that would be valued at more than $24 billion, per list prices.

IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Level that fly more than 113 million passengers a year combined. The group has been a long-time operator of Boeing twin-aisle airplanes.

 

Earlier this year, IAG group committed to and finalized a major order for Boeing’s newest long-haul model, the 777X, to complement its fleet of current-generation 777s and new 787 Dreamliners. In the single-aisle segment, IAG and its affiliates used to operate Classic 737 aircraft. Today, its fleet is almost exclusively Airbus A320 family aircraft. IAG CEO Willie Walsh has said the group would consider the 737 MAX as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition.

In selecting the 737 MAX, IAG says it will fly a combination of the 737 MAX 8, which seats up to 178 passengers in a two-class configuration, and the larger 737 MAX 10 jet, which can accommodate as many as 230 passengers. The airline did not disclose a specific split between the two MAX models, though it anticipates deploying the aircraft at a number of the group’s airlines including Vueling and Level.

When a final agreement is reached, it will be posted to Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.

IAG is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 582 aircraft flying to 268 destinations, carrying 113 million passengers in 2018.

In addition, IAG issued this statement:

International Airlines Group (IAG) has signed a letter of intent with Boeing for 200 Boeing 737 aircraft to join its fleet. The LOI is subject to formal agreement.

The mix of 737-8 and 737-10 aircraft would be delivered between 2023 and 2027 and would be powered by CFM Leap engines. It is anticipated that the aircraft would be used by a number of the Group’s airlines including Vueling, Level plus British Airways at London Gatwick Airport.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “We’re very pleased to sign this letter of intent with Boeing and are certain that these aircraft will be a great addition to IAG’s shorthaul fleet.

“We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators”.

 

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IAG reports its first quarter results

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) today (May 10, 2019) presented Group consolidated results for the three months to March 31, 2019.

IAG period highlights on results:

  • First quarter operating profit €135 million before exceptional items (2018 pro forma1: €340 million)
  • Passenger unit revenue for the quarter down 0.8 per cent, down 1.4 per cent at constant currency
  • Non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the quarter up 0.8 per cent, down 0.6 per cent at constant currency on a pro forma1 basis
  • Fuel unit costs for the quarter up 15.8 percent, up 11.1 per cent at constant currency
  • Net foreign exchange operating profit impact for the quarter adverse €61 million
  • Cash of €7,481 million at March 31, 2019 was up €1,207 million on December 31, 2018 and net debt to EBITDA improved by 0.2 to 1.0 times
  • Profit after tax before exceptional items €70 million down 62.6 per cent, and adjusted earnings per share down 57.5 per cent on a pro forma1 basis

 

Performance summary:

  Three months to March 31
  Statutory   Pro forma   Statutory
Highlights € million  2019   20181 Higher /

(lower)

2019 20182
Passenger revenue 4,646   4,415 5.2 % 4,646 4,415
Total revenue 5,318   5,022 5.9 % 5,318 5,022
Operating profit before exceptional items 135   340 (60.3)% 135 280
Exceptional items   639 (100.0)% 639
Operating profit after exceptional items 135   979 (86.2)% 135 919
             
Available seat kilometres (ASK million) 75,423   71,093 6.1 %    
Passenger revenue per ASK (€ cents) 6.16   6.21 (0.8)%    
Non-fuel costs per ASK (€ cents) 5.06   5.02 0.8 %    
             
             
Alternative performance measures 2019   20181 Higher /

(lower)

   
Profit after tax before exceptional items (€ million) 70   187 (62.6)%    
Adjusted earnings per share (€ cents) 3.7   8.7 (57.5)%    
Net debt (€ million)3,4 5,225   6,430 (18.7)%    
Net debt to EBITDA3,4 1.0   1.2 (0.2x)    
             
             
Statutory results € million 2019   2018 Higher /

(lower)

   
Profit after tax and exceptional items 70   794 (91.2)%    
Basic earnings per share (€ cents) 3.7   38.5 (90.4)%    
Cash and interest-bearing deposits 7,481   7,442 0.5 %    
Interest-bearing long-term borrowings 12,706   6,953 82.7 %    
For definitions refer to the IAG Annual report and accounts 2018.    

1 Pro forma financial information is based on the Group’s statutory results with an adjustment for IFRS 16 ‘Leases’ from January 1, 2018. A reconciliation of the pro forma financial information to the Group’s statutory results is available on the Company’s website.

2 March 31, 2018 comparatives are the Group’s statutory results as reported.

3 Net debt is long-term borrowings less cash and cash equivalents and other interest-bearing deposits. EBITDA is operating profit before exceptional items and depreciation, amortisation and impairment.

4 The prior year comparative is pro forma December 31, 2018. The December 31, 2018 as reported was adjusted net debt of €8,355 million, and adjusted net debt to EBITDAR of 1.6 times.

 

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“In a quarter when European airlines were significantly affected by fuel and foreign exchange headwinds, market capacity impacting yield and the timing of Easter, we remained profitable and are reporting an operating profit of €135 million.

“At constant currency, non-fuel unit costs were down 0.6 per cent while passenger unit revenue decreased by 1.4 per cent.”

 

Trading outlook

At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its 2019 operating profit before exceptional items to be in line with 2018 pro forma. Passenger unit revenue is expected to be flat at constant currency and non-fuel unit cost is expected to improve at constant currency. We expect passenger unit revenue at constant currency to improve for the remainder of the year.

IAG reports strong financial results, livery change coming at Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus Airbus A330-302 EI-ELA (msn 1106) JFK (Stephen Tornblom). Image: 910752.

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) on October 26, 2018 presented Group consolidated results for the nine months to September 30, 2018.

The IAG is the holding company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Level and Vueling.

IAG period highlights on results:

  • Third quarter operating profit €1,460 million before exceptional items (2017 restated(1): €1,450 million)
  • Net foreign exchange operating profit impact for the quarter adverse €111 million
  • Passenger unit revenue for the quarter up 1.3 per cent, up 2.4 per cent at constant currency
  • Non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items for the quarter up 0.5 per cent, down 0.7 per cent at constant currency
  • Fuel unit costs for the quarter up 14.3 per cent, up 15.0 per cent at constant currency
  • Operating profit before exceptional items for the nine months period €2,575 million (2017 restated(1): €2,400 million), up 7.3 per cent
  • Completion of second €500m share buyback programme on October 24
  • Interim dividend of 14.5 euro cents per share

 

Performance summary:

   Nine months to September 30  
Highlights € million 2018 2017

(restated)(1)

Higher / (lower)
       
Passenger revenue 16,326 15,507 5.3 %
Total revenue 18,346 17,450 5.1 %
Operating profit before exceptional items 2,575 2,400 7.3 %
Exceptional items 584 (271) nm
Operating profit after exceptional items 3,159 2,129 48.4%
       
Available seat kilometres (ASK million) 244,343 231,417 5.6 %
Passenger revenue per ASK (€ cents) 6.68 6.70 (0.3)%
Non-fuel costs per ASK (€ cents) 4.84 5.01 (3.2)%
       
Alternative performance measures 2018 2017

(restated)(1)

Higher / (lower)
       
Profit after tax before exceptional items (€ million) 1,970 1,805 9.1 %
Adjusted earnings per share (€ cents) 91.9 81.7 12.5 %
Adjusted net debt (€ million) 7,475 7,183 4.1 %
Adjusted net debt to EBITDAR 1.4 1.4 (0.0x)
       
Statutory results € million 2018 2017

(restated)(1)

Higher / (lower)
       
Profit after tax and exceptional items 2,514 1,597 57.4 %
Basic earnings per share (€ cents) 121.9 75.3 61.8 %
Cash and interest-bearing deposits 6,923 7,523 (8.0) %
Interest-bearing long-term borrowings 7,342 7,578 (3.1) %
        
For definitions refer to the IAG Annual report and accounts 2017.
(1)Restated for new accounting standards IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from contracts with customers’ and IFRS 9 ‘Financial instruments’.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We’re reporting a good quarter 3 performance with an operating profit of €1,460 million before exceptional items, up from €1,450 million last year.

“These were strong results despite significant fuel cost and foreign exchange headwinds. At constant currency, our passenger unit revenue increased by 2.4 per cent while non-fuel unit costs went down 0.7 per cent.

“We’re pleased to announce an interim dividend of 14.5 euro cents per share and this week we completed our second €500 million share buy-back programme”.

Trading outlook

At current fuel prices and exchange rates, IAG expects its operating profit before exceptional items for 2018 to show an increase of around €200m from a base of €2,950m in 2017. Both passenger unit revenue and non-fuel unit costs are expected to improve at constant currency for the full year.

It’s back! College Football is returning to Dublin for the Aer Lingus College Football Series. Five epic games from 2020-2024. First up: Notre Dame Football v Navy Football.

Top Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Airbus A330-302 EI-ELA (msn 1106) JFK (Stephen Tornblom). Image: 910752. The desire to create larger profits are driving an upcoming livery change at Aer Lingus. Look now, the amount of green is expected to be significantly reduced with the upcoming new livery. The first Aer Lingus aircraft in the new colors is expected at the end of January, 2019. The pictured Airbus A330-302, registered as EI-ELA, will probably be the first aircraft to be repainted (always subject to change). The new livery is expected to be something like Iberia Express with green engine cowlings and a dark green shamrock on the tail with two cheat lines down the fuselage. The size and style of the titles are still under discussion pending a final livery decision.

In other news, Aer Lingus is expecting their first Avro (BAe) RJ85 (EI-RJN) on Sunday with Aer Lingus titles and a shamrock in green decals.

Below Copyright Photo: Aer Lingus Airbus A330-302 EI-ELA (msn 1106) DUB (SM Fitzwilliams Collection). Image: 925195.

Named "St. Patrick".

Aer Lingus aircraft slide show:

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IAG, Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air submit French ATC strikes complaint to European Commission

A320neo, delivered on April 25, 2018

International Airlines Group (IAG), Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air have submitted complaints to the European Commission against France as its air traffic controllers’ strikes restrict the fundamental principle of freedom of movement within the EU.

The airlines are not questioning the right to strike but believe France is breaking EU law by not enabling flights over the country during strikes. Passengers on overflights are being denied their fundamental freedom to travel between member states not affected by strike action.

So far this year, French ATC strikes have increased by 300 per cent versus 2017. Last month, the French Senate confirmed that France alone is responsible for 33 per cent of flight delays in Europe. The Senate states also that the right to strike has to be balanced against the obligation to provide public service. (*).

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “The right to strike needs to be balanced against freedom of movement. It’s not only customers flying in and out of France who are affected during French ATC strikes. Passengers on routes that overfly France, especially the large airspace that covers Marseille and the Mediterranean, are also subject to delays and massive disruptions. This affects all airlines but has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy.”

The complaints state that there is a legal precedent to this case. In 1997, the Spanish complained to the European Commission after they suffered for many years when French farmers prevented their fruit and vegetable exports into the EU. The European Court ruled against France as the French authorities didn’t address the farmers’ actions and failed to ensure the free movement of goods (**).

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “Europe’s ATC providers are reaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled and delayed daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff. When Greece and Italy have ATC strikes, overflights continue as normal. Why won’t France do the same? ATC providers (especially in Germany and the UK) are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough air traffic controllers to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate. These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on Europe’s Governments and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.”

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said: “We fully respect the right to strike and have been in constructive dialogue with the EU and the French government to address the issue of ATC strikes. Unfortunately, our passengers have felt little progress so far, which is why we felt it is necessary to take this next step – particularly given the sustained industrial action this year which has totalled 29 days to date.”

József Váradi, Wizz Air’s chief executive, said: “The failure of French air traffic control authorities to ensure a continued and adequate service has already caused massive disruption to the travel plans of thousands of passengers across Europe, with airlines left to pick up the pieces. Addressing this issue must be a priority for the European authorities to ensure European citizens and businesses are no longer held hostage to national industrial relations issues.”

According to Eurocontrol, more than 16,000 flights had been delayed by June this year due to ATC strikes, affecting more than two million passengers.

Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 ATC strikes in Europe. That’s the equivalent of roughly one month per year when the EU skies are disrupted.

Top Copyright Photo (all other photos by respective airlines):

British Airways aircraft slide show: British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL G-TTNB (msn 8139) LIS (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 942707.

British Airways slide show (Airbus):

IAG to acquire Niki, will be put under Vueling

Transferred to Airberlin on January 12, 2017

International Airlines Group – IAG (London) has announced it will acquire insolvent Niki (Vienna) for €36.5 million ($43.8 Million). IAG became the lone bidder after the Lufthansa Group pulled out of the bidding. The IAG also out bid Niki Lauda who was bidding to take back his former airline. The IAG will pay €20 million ($24 million) for Niki’s assets and provide liquidity of up to €16.5 million to Niki.

The new Niki will become a subsidiary of Vueling and the IAG will employ most of the former Niki employees (around 740). Vueling will now be able to grow its presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

Niki is now likely to adopt the Vueling brand.

Copyright Photo: Niki Luftfahrt (flyNiki.com) (Airberlin) Airbus A320-214 D-ABHF (OE-LEE) (msn 2749) PMI (Javier Rodriguez). Image: 937271.

Niki:

IAG is the last remaining bidder for Niki

Niki-The Spirit of Niki (flyniki.com) Airbus A320-214 OE-LEU (msn 2902) (Airberlin colors) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 929150.

The International Airlines Group-IAG is the last remaining bidder for insolvent airline Niki (Vienna) according to Reuters. Niki was part of the Airberlin Group.

Copyright Photo: Niki-The Spirit of Niki (flyniki.com) Airbus A320-214 OE-LEU (msn 2902) (Airberlin colors) ZRH (Rolf Wallner). Image: 929150.

Niki aircraft slide show:

IAG to launch LEVEL, a new low-cost, long-haul carrier

International Airlines Group (IAG) is launching LEVEL – a new low cost longhaul airline brand that will take to the skies in June 2017 with flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles, San Francisco (Oakland), Buenos Aires and Punta Cana.

LEVEL will fly two new Airbus A330 aircraft branded in its own livery and fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. Initially it will be operated by Iberia’s flight and cabin crew and will create up to 250 jobs based in Barcelona.

Barcelona has been chosen as the first European city for the launch of IAG’s new operation but LEVEL will look to expand its flights from other European cities.

Fares start from €99/US$149 one way.

Checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), meals, seat selection and the latest movie releases will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy. Those travelling in economy can chose what they want to buy based on a menu of choices. All customers will have access to next generation inflight technology with a wide range of onboard entertainment options. High speed internet connectivity will be available with prices starting at €8.99.

LEVEL’s customers will be able to earn and redeem Avios – the loyalty currency for IAG’s airlines. This will give them the opportunity to fly to 380 destinations across the Group’s network.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “LEVEL is an exciting new IAG airline brand which will bring a stylish and modern approach to flying at prices that are even more affordable. It will benefit from having the strength of one of the world’s largest airline groups behind it.

“LEVEL will become IAG’s fifth main airline brand alongside Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. It will complement our existing airline portfolio and further diversify our current customer base.

Image: IAG.