British Airways owner IAG announces transatlantic booking near 2019 level

London-British Airways owner IAG boss said that transatlantic bookings had already reached nearly 100% of 2019 levels on Monday after the United States lifted restrictions earlier this month.

Airlines such as BA and Virgin Atlantic had billions of dollars in debt due to the 18-month limit and were hoping to reopen the European-to-US route, which is essential for fiscal consolidation. ..

Luis Gallego told the British Airways Conference that the group is recovering and expects to return to pre-pandemic flight levels by 2023.

“Now, as the world opens, we are developing our abilities,” he said. “Trans-Atlantic bookings have already reached nearly 100% of 2019 levels. I think the North Atlantic route will reach full capacity by next summer.”

However, Gallego warned that London’s Heathrow airport’s move to raise fares could lead to a recovery, and 40% of passengers traveling to another final destination using the airport could use an alternative hub. Said.

The British Civil Aviation Bureau (CAA) has made the first proposal to allow Heathrow Airport to charge up to 50% more per passenger between 2022 and 2027.

“If landing fees go up, I know that IAG alone will not reconsider the use of Heathrow as a port by our airlines,” he said. “Now, aviation is about to get out of the worst crisis in history. British operators need to be able to compete.”

Kate Holton