Tag Archives: IAG

IAG reports a 2020 loss of €6,923 million

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) on February 26, 2021 presented Group consolidated results for the year to December 31, 2020.

COVID-19 situation and management actions:

• Passenger capacity in quarter 4 was 26.6 per cent of 2019 and for the full year was 33.5 per cent of 2019 and continues to be adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, together with government restrictions and quarantine requirements

• Current passenger capacity plans for quarter 1, 2021 are for around 20 per cent of 2019 capacity, but remain uncertain and subject to review

• 969 cargo-only flights operated in quarter 4 • Additional funding of €3.4 billion secured in quarter 4, including £2.0 billion commitment from UK Export Finance finalized in February 2021 and $1.0 billion EETC for British Airways, $0.2 billion sales and leaseback transactions for Iberia and €150 million for Aer Lingus backed by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), with €0.8 billion bridge financing facilities repaid

• 2020 capex reduced by €2.3 billion, from plans at the start of the year, to €1.9 billion, with €0.5 billion due to seven aircraft deliveries delayed from Q4-20 into 2021; 2021 capex expected to be lower than 2020

• British Airways reached agreement to defer €495 million of pension contributions due between September 2020 and October 2021

• British Airways reached agreement in principle over restructuring plans for cargo employees, following agreement with the other main British Airways employee groups earlier in 2020 • Group continues to focus on cost reduction, increasing the variability of its cost-base and liquidity initiatives

IAG period highlights on results:

• Fourth quarter operating loss €1,471 million (2019: operating profit €93 million), and operating loss before exceptional items €1,165 million (2019: operating profit before exceptional items €765 million)

• Operating loss for the year to December 31, 2020 €7,426 million (2019: operating profit €2,613 million), and operating loss before exceptional items €4,365 million (2019: operating profit before exceptional items €3,285 million)

• Exceptional charge before tax in the year to December 31, 2020 of €3,061 million on discontinuance of fuel and foreign exchange hedge accounting, impairment of fleet and restructuring costs; exceptional charge before tax for quarter 4 €306 million

• Loss after tax and exceptional items for the year to December 31, 2020 €6,923 million (2019: profit €1,715 million) and loss after tax before exceptional items: €4,325 million (2019: profit before exceptional items €2,387 million)

• Cash of €5,917 million at December 31, 2020 down €766 million on December 31, 2019. Committed and undrawn general and aircraft facilities were €2.14 billion, bringing total liquidity to €8.1 billion. Including €2.2 billion proceeds from the UK Export Finance (UKEF) gives total pro-forma liquidity of €10.3 billion.

Luis Gallego, IAG’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “In 2020, we’re reporting an operating loss of €4,365 million before exceptional items compared to an operating profit of €3,285 million in 2019. Total operating losses including exceptional items relating to fuel and currency hedges, early fleet retirement plus restructuring costs came to €7,426 million.

“Our results reflect the serious impact that COVID-19 has had on our business. We have taken effective action to preserve cash, boost liquidity and reduce our cost base. Despite this crisis, our liquidity remains strong. At 31 December, the Group’s liquidity was €10.3 billion including a successful €2.7 billion capital increase and £2 billion loan commitment from UKEF. This is higher than at the start of the pandemic.

“In 2020, our capacity decreased by 66.5 per cent while our non-fuel costs went down 37.1 per cent thanks to the extraordinary effort across our business. The Group continues to reduce its cost base and increase the proportion of variable costs to better match market demand. We’re transforming our business to ensure we emerge in a stronger competitive position.

“IAG Cargo’s turnover increased by almost €200 million to €1.3 billion. Cargo helped to make longhaul passenger flights viable. In addition, we operated 4,003 cargo-only flights in the year.

“I would like to thank our employees across the Group for their remarkable commitment, resilience and flexibility through this crisis. They have adapted quickly to new ways of working and made big sacrifices in terms of salary and working time. Our people have played a central role in all we have achieved during these challenging times.

“The aviation industry stands with governments in putting public health at the top of the agenda. Getting people traveling again will require a clear roadmap for unwinding current restrictions when the time is right.

“We know there is pent-up demand for travel and people want to fly. Vaccinations are progressing well and global infections are going in the right direction. We’re calling for international common testing standards and the introduction of digital health passes to reopen our skies safely.”

IAG to buy Air Europa for half the previously agreed price

IAG reinforced its leadership positions in its home markets of London, Madrid, Barcelona, Dublin and Rome with the addition of 48 new routes.

Our routes

The Group portfolio consists of unique operating companies, from full service longhaul to low-cost shorthaul carriers, each targeting specific customer needs and geographies.

Aer Lingus

During 2018, Aer Lingus continued to profitably grow its North American and European networks. Growth was focussed on its North American network, with new routes launched from Dublin to Philadelphia and Seattle.

British Airways

British Airways operates the most comprehensive network between Europe and North America. Following new route announcements to Pittsburgh and Charleston, soon they will serve 34 destinations, consolidating their position as the largest longhaul carrier into North America by points served. They had great success in opening routes to markets such as Austin, New Orleans and Nashville and will look for further opportunities in the US. As they develop the longhaul network further, their relationship with joint business partners will remain critical in offering customers better frequency and easier connections in the markets they serve. 2019 will see them launch new services to Islamabad and Osaka as we continue to expand their presence elsewhere in the world.

Find out more

Iberia

Iberia increased overall capacity by 7 per cent with expansion across its network. In longhaul it launched services to San Francisco. A major milestone was reached in its efforts to build a strategic alliance with LATAM, with the Chilean Free Competition Defence Court approving their proposed joint business. Iberia used Iberia Express to strengthen its network, adding four new destinations.

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LEVEL

The LEVEL brand was selected as the brand to launch IAG’s new shorthaul operations from Vienna, operating 14 shorthaul routes to a mix of European destinations including London, Paris, Barcelona, Ibiza, Milan, Larnaca and Dubrovnik. Longhaul LEVEL services also launched from Paris to the French Caribbean, Montreal and New York.

Find out more

Vueling

Vueling strengthened its positions in key markets by 3 points of market share in Barcelona and Spain-Canaries and 4 points in Spain-Balearics. We also maintained capacity discipline and flexibility to quickly adjust to future headwinds.

Find out more

Air Europa aircraft photo gallery:

Air Europa aircraft slide show:

IAG reports its preliminary third quarter results and update

International Airlines Group (IAG) announces its preliminary results for the third quarter of 2020 and capacity outlook for the fourth quarter.

Third quarter results

Total revenue declined by 83 percent to €1.2 billion compared to €7.3 billion last year. Operating result before exceptional items was a €1.3 billion loss compared to a €1.4 billion profit last year.

Passenger capacity, expressed in available seat kilometres, declined by 78.6 percent in the quarter. Passenger traffic, measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres, declined by 88.0 per cent. Seat load factor declined by 38.8 points to 48.9 per cent.

Current trading and capacity outlook

On September 10, 2020, IAG announced a reduction in capacity from -74 percent to -78 percent in 3Q 2020 and from -46 percent to -60 percent in 4Q 2020 as a result of the leveling off of bookings following the reintroduction of quarantine requirements by many European governments.

Recent overall bookings have not developed as previously expected due to additional measures implemented by many European governments in response to a second wave of COVID-19 infections, including an increase in local lockdowns and extension of quarantine requirements to travellers from an increasing number of countries. At the same time, initiatives designed to replace quarantine periods and increase customer confidence to book and travel, such as pre-departure testing and air corridor arrangements, have not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated.

In response to the high uncertainty of the current environment, IAG now plans for capacity in 4Q 2020 to be no more than 30 per cent compared to 2019. As a result, the Group no longer expects to reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during 4Q 2020.

Liquidity

Liquidity remains strong. As at 30 September 2020, the Group had total liquidity of €6.6 billion, comprised of €5.0 billion of cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits and €1.6 billion of undrawn and committed general and aircraft facilities. In addition, €2.74 billion of gross proceeds from the Capital Increase were received in early October for a total pro-forma liquidity of €9.3 billion.

Detailed results for the third quarter will be released as planned on 30 October, accompanied by a presentation and conference call for analysts and investors.

Stephen Gunning Chief Financial Officer

British Airways retires the Airbus A318, Iberia to retire the A340-600 as IAG reports first half results

Iberia Airbus A340-642 EC-JPU (msn 744) KBP (Robbie Shaw). Image: 950772.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) today (July 31, 2020) presented Group consolidated results for the six months to June 30, 2020.

The results for the six months were significantly impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has had a devastating impact on the global airline and travel sectors, particularly from late February 2020 onwards.

COVID-19 situation and management actions:

  •   Most Group aircraft grounded in quarter 2, with small programme of passenger flights for essential travel and repatriation
  •   1,875 additional cargo flights operated in quarter 2 to transport critical equipment and essential supplies
  •   Additional operating procedures implemented to protect customers and staff including facemask use and additional cleaning
  •   Liquidity boosted by actions including accessing Spain’s Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) facility and UK’s Coronavirus Corporate Finance Facility (CCFF). Also, British Airways’ Revolving Credit Facility extended and additional one-year bridge aircraft financing facilities agreed and implemented in quarter 2
  •   Multi-year renewal signed with American Express on July 24, including €830 million payment, a significant part of which is Avios pre-purchase
  •   Cash operating costs for quarter 2 reduced to €205 million per week, with April and May slightly lower than previously estimated at €195 million per week, despite additional cost of operating cargo-only flights
  •   Current capacity planning scenario for an increase through quarter 3 and quarter 4, to -74 percent and -46 percent versus 2019 respectively, but plans highly uncertain and subject to easing lockdowns and travel restrictions
  •   Based on our current capacity planning scenario, IAG would reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during quarter 4 2020
  •   Government wage support schemes accessed in main employee bases and other measures agreed to reduce employee costs due to much-reduced flying program
  •   Capital spending for 2020 reduced by €1.5 billion, against the original plan, with 2020 fleet capital expenditure covered by committed financing
  •   Deliveries of 68 new aircraft due in 2020 to 2022 deferred and certain legacy aircraft retired early, including 32 Boeing 747s and 15 Airbus A340-600s
  •   IAG expects it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels and is restructuring its cost-base to reduce each airline’s size, with consultations being undertaken locally as required
  •   Active discussions remain ongoing with Globalia regarding a potential restructuring of the Air Europa acquisition, taking into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any agreed transaction would remain subject to regulatory clearances IAG period highlights on results:
  •   Passenger capacity operated in quarter 2 down 95.3 per cent on 2019 and for the six months down 56.2 percent on 2019
  •   Second quarter operating loss €1,365 million before exceptional items (2019 operating profit: €960 million) Note: Iberia is currently operating 3 A340-600s to Latin America: EC-IZY, ECJLE and EC-JNQ.
  •   Operating loss before exceptional items for the half year €1,900 million (2019 operating profit: €1,095 million)
  •   Exceptional charge in the half year of €2,137 million on derecognition of fuel and foreign exchange hedges for 2020 and impairment of fleet
  •   Loss after tax before exceptional items for the half year €1,965 million, and 2020 statutory loss after tax and exceptional items: €3,806 million (2019 profit: €806 million)
  •   Cash of €6,016 million at June 30, 2020 down €667 million on December 31, 2019. Committed and undrawn general and aircraft facilities were €2.1 billion, bringing total liquidity to €8.1 billionProposed capital increase:

 Proposed capital increase of up to €2.75 billion, to be supported by irrevocable commitment from largest shareholder and underwritten, subject to approval at General Shareholders’ Meeting in September

For definitions refer to the Alternative performance measures section.
1 The 2019 results include a reclassification of the costs the Group incurs in relation to compensation for flight delays and cancellations as a deduction from revenue as opposed to an operating expense. There is no change in operating profit. The amount reclassified for the period to June 30, 2019 was €63 million. Further information is given in note 1.
2 The prior year comparative is December 31, 2019.

Willie Walsh, IAG Chief Executive Officer, said:

“In quarter 2 we’re reporting a record operating loss of €1,365 million before exceptional items compared to an operating profit of €960 million last year. Total operating losses including exceptional items relating to the early retirement of British Airways’ Boeing 747s and Iberia’s Airbus A340s came to €2,177 million.

“We operated 1,875 cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft in quarter 2 which was an important cash contributor to the Group.

“All IAG airlines made substantial losses. As a result of government travel restrictions, quarter 2 passenger traffic fell by 98.4 per cent on a capacity reduction in the quarter of 95.3 per cent. We have seen evidence that demand recovers when government restrictions are lifted. Our airlines have put in place measures to provide additional reassurance to their customers and employees on board and at the airport.

“We continue to expect that it will take until at least 2023 for passenger demand to recover to 2019 levels. Each airline has taken actions to adjust their business and reduce their cost base to reflect forecast demand in their markets not just to get through this crisis but to ensure they remain competitive in a structurally changed industry.

“IAG continues to take action to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position including more than halving its operating cash costs and significantly reducing its capital spending. At the end of June liquidity stood at €8.1 billion. Based on our current capacity planning scenario, we would reach breakeven in terms of Net cash flows from operating activities during quarter 4 2020.

“Subject to shareholder approval at our AGM on September 8, IAG will undertake a capital increase of up to €2.75 billion which will enhance the Group’s resilience, balance sheet and liquidity position. We’re delighted that our largest shareholder, Qatar Airways, has already committed to support the proposed capital raising. This will best position IAG to continue executing its strategic objectives and capitalise on its existing market leading position and future growth and consolidation opportunities.”

In other news, British Airways has decided to drop the London (City) – New York Airbus A318 business route. The 32-seat A318s will be retired immediately. The unique route was last revenue flight was operated on March 18, 2020 (BA2 JFK-LCY with G-EUNA).

Video:

Top Copyright Photo: Iberia Airbus A340-642 EC-JPU (msn 744) KBP (Robbie Shaw). Image: 950772.

Iberia aircraft slide show:

 

British Airways plans to cup up to 12,000 jobs due to the drop in air travel

IAG, the parent of British Airways, reported its first quarter results:

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced its preliminary results for the first quarter of 2020 and continues to assess further cost reduction and cash flow initiatives across the entire Group. British Airways is to consult over redundancy and restructuring proposals with its trade unions.

First quarter results

Total revenue declined by 13 percent to €4.6 billion compared to €5.3 billion in the prior year period. Operating result before exceptional items was a loss of €535 million compared to a profit of €135 million last year. In addition, IAG’s pre-tax profit was impacted by an exceptional charge of €1.3 billion resulting from the ineffectiveness of its fuel and foreign currency hedges for the rest of 2020 due to over-hedging. This exceptional charge is measured as at the quarter end date. Detailed results for the first quarter will be released as planned on 7 May, accompanied by a presentation and conference call for analysts and investors.

The operating result in the first two months of 2020 was similar to that of last year, despite the suspension of flights to China due to COVID-19 from the end of January. All of the reduction in the operating result in the quarter compared to last year came in March. The majority of the reduction in IAG’s operating result was incurred by British Airways, followed by Iberia and Aer Lingus, while Vueling experienced a modest increase in operating loss.

Capacity

Passenger capacity, expressed in terms of available seat kilometres, declined by 10.5 percent in the quarter. Passenger traffic in terms of revenue passenger kilometres declined by 15.2 percent in the quarter. Seat load factor for the quarter declined by 4.3 points to 76.4 per cent.

IAG has reduced passenger capacity in April and May by 94 percent compared to last year, only operating flights for essential travel and repatriation. Between March 22 and April 26 IAG Cargo undertook around 350 additional cargo only return flights, primarily on long-haul routes with passenger wide body aircraft. Passenger capacity from June will depend on the timing of the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions by governments around the world.

British Airways redundancy consultation

In light of the impact of COVID-19 on current operations and the expectation that the recovery of passenger demand to 2019 levels will take several years, British Airways is formally notifying its trade unions about a proposed restructuring and redundancy program. The proposals remain subject to consultation but it is likely that they will affect most of British Airways’ employees and may result in the redundancy of up to 12,000 of them.

As previously announced, British Airways has availed itself of the UK’s COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme and furloughed 22,626 employees in April.

Outlook

As announced on 28 February 2020, given the uncertainty on the impact and duration of COVID-19, IAG is not currently providing profit guidance for 2020. However, the Group expects its operating loss in the second quarter to be significantly worse than in the first quarter, given the substantial decline in passenger capacity and traffic and despite some relief on employee costs from government job retention and wage support schemes.

Total cash and undrawn general and committed aircraft finance facilities amounted to €9.5 billion at the end of March, including €6.95 billion of cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits.

Recovery to the level of passenger demand in 2019 is expected to take several years, necessitating Group-wide restructuring measures.

British Airways also made this announcement:

Letter to colleagues from Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO at British Airways

On April 27, British Airways flew just a handful of aircraft out of Heathrow. On a normal day we would fly more than 300. What we are facing as an airline, like so many other businesses up and down the country, is that there is no ‘normal’ any longer.

The global aviation body, IATA, has said that the industry has never seen a downturn this deep before, and that full year industry passenger revenues could plummet 55% compared to 2019, while traffic falls 48%.  Many airlines have grounded all of their planes. Sadly, we will see some airlines go out of business with the resulting job losses.

Our very limited flying schedule means that revenues are not coming into our business. We are taking every possible action to conserve cash, which will help us to weather the storm in the short-term. We are working closely with partners and suppliers to discuss repayment terms; we are re-negotiating contracts where possible; and we are considering all the options for our current and future aircraft fleet. All of these actions alone are not enough.

In the last few weeks, the outlook for the aviation industry has worsened further and we must take action now. We are a strong, well-managed business that has faced into, and overcome, many crises in our hundred-year history. We must overcome this crisis ourselves, too.

There  is no Government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely. Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not address the longer-term challenges we will face.

We do not know when countries will reopen their borders or when the lockdowns will lift, and so we have to reimagine and reshape our airline and create a new future for our people, our customers and the destinations we serve. We have informed the Government and the Trade Unions of our proposals to consult over a number of changes, including possible reductions in headcount. We will begin a period of consultation, during which we will work with the Trade Unions to protect as many jobs as possible. Your views matter and we will listen to all practical proposals.

The scale of this challenge requires substantial change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just to address the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also to withstand any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or other events that could affect us. However challenging this is, the longer we delay difficult decisions, the fewer options will be open to us.

I want to pay tribute to the thousands of British Airways colleagues who are playing a vital role in the global response to the Covid-19 crisis. Whether you are supporting our repatriation flights or the transport of essential cargo; or one of the hundreds of colleagues volunteering with organisations such as the NHS, you have my sincere respect and thanks.

This has been a difficult message to write and one I never thought I would need to send. I know how tight-knit the BA family is, and how concerned you will be, not just for yourself but for your colleagues, too. We must act decisively now to ensure that British Airways has a strong future and continues connecting Britain with the world, and the world with Britain.

Thank you.

Alex

BALPA had this reaction:

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said:

“BA pilots and all staff are devastated by the announcement of up to 12,000 possible job losses in British Airways.

“This has come as a bolt out of the blue from an airline that said it was wealthy enough to weather the COVID storm and declined any Government support.

“BALPA does not accept that a case has been made for these job losses and we will be fighting to save every single one.”
More from the BBC.

British Airways aircraft photo gallery (Airbus):

IAG’s airlines to reduce capacity by 75%

IAG has issued this statement:

The rapid spread of COVID-19, and associated government travel restrictions and advisories are having a significant and increasingly negative impact on the demand for global air traffic on almost all routes operated by IAG’s airlines.

To date IAG has suspended flights to China, reduced capacity on Asian routes, cancelled all flights to, from and within Italy and made various changes to our network.

The US Presidential announcement to restrict entry of foreign nationals who have been in countries in the Schengen Area, the UK and Ireland has added to the uncertainty on North Atlantic routes. In addition, many other countries have banned or are restricting inward travel including Argentina, Chile, India and Peru. Spain has also been the subject of travel advisories, for example by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

IAG is implementing further initiatives in response to this challenging market environment. Capacity, in terms of available seat kilometres, in the first quarter of 2020 is now expected to be reduced by around 7.5 percent compared to last year. For April and May, the Group plans to reduce capacity by at least 75 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

IAG is also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow. These include grounding surplus aircraft, reducing and deferring capital spending, cutting non-essential and non-cyber related IT spend, freezing recruitment and discretionary spending, implementing voluntary leave options, temporarily suspending employment contracts and reducing working hours.

Given the continued uncertainty on the potential impact and duration of COVID-19, it is still not possible to give accurate profit guidance for the full year 2020.

The Group has strong liquidity with cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits of €7.35 billion as at March 12, 2020. In addition, undrawn general and committed aircraft backed financing facilities amount to €1.9 billion, resulting in total liquidity of €9.3 billion.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “We have seen a substantial decline in bookings across our airlines and global network over the past few weeks and we expect demand to remain weak until well into the summer. We are therefore making significant reductions to our flying schedules. We will continue to monitor demand levels and we have the flexibility to make further cuts if necessary. We are also taking actions to reduce operating expenses and improve cash flow at each of our airlines. IAG is resilient with a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity.”

In light of the exceptional circumstances facing the aviation industry due to COVID-19, and in particular the developing situation in Spain, it has been decided that Luis Gallego will continue in his role as Iberia chief executive for the next few months to lead the response in Spain. In the meantime, Willie Walsh will continue to act as Group chief executive and Javier Sanchez will remain in place as Vueling chief executive.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG´s chairman, said: “As we respond to COVID-19, Willie, Luis and the board of IAG have decided that management stability across the Group should be a priority in the near term. We are grateful that Willie has agreed to delay his retirement for a short period at this challenging time.”

Stephen Gunning
Chief Financial Officer

Iberia aircraft photo gallery:

IAG reports its full-year 2019 financial results, gives guidance for the coronavirus

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) today (February 28, 2020) presented Group consolidated results for the year to December 31, 2019.

Fourth quarter operating profit of €765 million before exceptional items.

Operating profit before exceptional items for the year to December 31, 2019 of €3,285 million.

Read the full report.

Trading outlook

The earnings outlook is adversely affected by weaker demand as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). We are currently experiencing demand weakness on Asian and European routes and a weakening of business travel across our network resulting from the cancellation of industry events and corporate travel restrictions.

In Asia, flights to Mainland China have been suspended. On January 29, British Airways suspended its daily flight to both Beijing and Shanghai and Iberia suspended its three times weekly service to Shanghai on January 31. In addition, some services on other Asian routes have been reduced. From February 13, British Airways reduced its daily Hong Kong service from two to one. From March 13, it will reduce its daily service to Seoul to 3-4 times weekly.

Some of the freed-up longhaul capacity is being redeployed to routes with stronger demand. British Airways has announced additional flights to India, South Africa and the US, while Iberia is increasing capacity on US and domestic routes.

Capacity on Italian routes for March has been significantly reduced through a combination of cancellations and change of aircraft gauge and further capacity reductions will be activated over the coming days. We also expect to make some capacity reductions across our wider shorthaul network. Shorthaul capacity is not being redeployed at this stage.

The net impact of current flight cancellations and redeployed capacity is to lower IAG’s FY 2020 planned capacity by approximately 1 per cent in terms of available seat kilometres to 2 per cent for the year. Our operating companies will continue to take mitigating actions to better match supply to demand in line with the evolving situation. Cost and revenue initiatives are being implemented across the business.

IAG is resilient with a strong balance sheet and substantial cash liquidity to withstand the current weakness. We have a management team experienced in similar situations and have demonstrated that we can respond quickly to changing market conditions. We are strongly positioned for the expected recovery in demand.

Given the ongoing uncertainty on the potential impact and duration of COVID-19, it is not possible to give accurate profit guidance for FY 2020 at this stage.

Qatar Airways increases its share of IAG

Qatar Airways following the failure of Air Italy, has increased its share of the IAG Group. The airline issued this short statement:

Qatar Airways Group Q.C.S.C. is pleased to announce that it has increased its shareholding in International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. (IAG) from 21.4 percent to 25.1 percent.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker stated, “Our investment to date has been highly successful and the announced increase in our shareholding is evidence of our continued support of IAG and its strategy.”

“Qatar Airways continues to consider opportunities to invest in airlines and support management teams that share our vision to enhance travel opportunities for airline passengers across the globe.”

IAG’s Willie Walsh to retire

International Airlines Group (IAG) announces that Willie Walsh has decided to retire as chief executive. He will stand down from the role and from the Board of IAG on March 26, 2020 and will retire on June 30, 2020. Luis Gallego, currently Iberia chief executive, will succeed Willie.

Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman, said: “Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG.  Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.

“Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.

“Willie has established a strong management team and I am delighted that Luis will be promoted from this team to succeed Willie as CEO. Luis started his career in the airline industry in 1997 with Air Nostrum and, since 2014, he has been CEO of Iberia where he has led a profound transformation of this airline. The Board is confident that Luis is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development and we look forward to working closely with Luis in his new role”.

Willie Walsh said: “It has been a privilege to have been instrumental in the creation and development of IAG. I have had the pleasure of working with many exceptional people over the past 15 years at British Airways and at IAG. Luis has been a core member of the team and has shown true leadership over the years and I have no doubt he will be a great CEO of IAG“.

Luis Gallego said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years. It is a huge honour to lead this great company. It is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie“.

Luis Gallego’s successor at Iberia will be announced in due course.

IAG to acquire Air Europa for €1 billion, Air Europa to be run by Iberia

International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) and Globalia are pleased to announce that definitive transaction agreements have been signed under which IAG’s wholly owned subsidiary, IB OPCO Holding S.L. (Iberia), has agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Air Europa for €1 billion to be satisfied in cash at Completion  and subject to a closing accounts adjustment.

Highlights

  • Transforms IAG’s Madrid hub into a true rival to Europe’s four largest hubs: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle.
  • Re-establishes IAG as a leader in the highly attractive Europe to Latin America and Caribbean market.
  • Offers significant synergy potential in terms of cost and revenue.
  • EPS accretive in the first full year and accretive to IAG’s return on invested capital by the fourth year after Completion.
  • Completion is expected to take place in H2 2020 following receipt of relevant approvals.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of IAG, said:

“Acquiring Air Europa would add a new competitive, cost effective airline to IAG, consolidating Madrid as a leading European hub and resulting in IAG achieving South Atlantic leadership, therefore generating additional financial value for our shareholders.

IAG has a strong track record of successful acquisitions, most recently with the acquisition of Aer Lingus in 2015 and we are convinced Air Europa presents a strong strategic fit for the group.”

Javier Hidalgo, Chief Executive of Globalia, said:

“For Globalia, the incorporation of Air Europa to IAG implies the strengthening of the company’s present and future that will maintain the path followed by Air Europa in the last years. We are convinced that the incorporation of Air Europa to a group such as IAG, who over all these years has demonstrated its support to the development of airlines within the group and the Madrid hub, will be a success”.

Luis Gallego, Chief Executive of Iberia, said:

“This is of strategic importance for the Madrid hub, which in recent years has lagged behind other European hubs. Following this agreement, Madrid will be able to compete with other European hubs on equal terms with a better position on Europe to Latin America routes and the possibility to become a gateway between Asia and Latin America.”

Strategic rationale

Air Europa is one of the leading private airlines in Spain, operating scheduled domestic and international flights to 69 destinations, including European and long-haul routes to Latin America, the United States of America, the Caribbean and North Africa. In 2018, Air Europa generated revenue of €2.1 billion and an operating profit of €100 million. It carried 11.8 million passengers in 2018 and ended the year with a fleet of 66 aircraft.

The Board of IAG believes that the transaction would:

  • Increase the importance of IAG’s Madrid hub, transforming it into a true rival to Europe’s big four hubs: Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Paris Charles De Gaulle;
  • Unlock further network growth opportunities and re-establish IAG’s South Atlantic leadership; and
  • Result in significant customer benefits through providing increased

The Air Europa brand will initially be retained and the company will remain as a standalone profit center within Iberia run by Iberia CEO Luis Gallego. The managements of IAG and Iberia anticipate opportunities to unlock value through the Acquisition across three key areas:

  • Integrating Air Europa into the existing Iberia hub structure at Madrid;
  • Creating commercial links between Air Europa and other IAG operating companies, in addition to inclusion into IAG’s joint businesses;
  • Integrating Air Europa onto the IAG platform of common services.

Synergies and financial impact

The Acquisition is expected to generate cost synergies across selling, general and administrative expenses, procurement, handling and distribution costs with full run-rate synergies to be achieved by 2025. IAG expects implementation costs to be phased over the same period.

In addition, the Acquisition is expected to generate significant revenue synergies by 2025, including:

  • Adding reciprocal intra-group codeshares across all connecting gateways;
  • Adjusting timings to maximise connectivity through the Madrid hub;
  • Aligning commercial policies and integrating sales forces in home markets;
  • Integrating Air Europa into existing IAG joint businesses; and
  • Integrating Air Europa into the Avios currency for loyalty.

The Acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year following Completion and accretive to IAG’s return on invested capital within four years after Completion.

Financing and expected timetable

The Acquisition will be funded by external debt. After Completion, IAG’s net debt to EBITDA is expected to be 0.3 times higher as a result of the Acquisition compared to 1.2 times last reported at the end of Q3 2019.

Assuming satisfaction of all conditions to the Acquisition, Completion is expected to take place in 2H 2020.

IAG has agreed to pay Air Europa a break fee of €40 million in the event that the transaction fails to receive the necessary regulatory approvals and either party elects to terminate the transaction agreement.

The Acquisition constitutes a Class 2 transaction for the purposes of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules and, as such, does not require IAG’s shareholders’ approval. The gross assets of Air Europa at 31 December 2018 were €901 million. The pre-tax profits attributable to Air Europa for the year ended 31 December 2018 were €67 million.

Steve Gunning

Chief Financial Officer

November 4, 2019

Air Europa aircraft photo gallery: