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UPDATE 2-British Airways owner IAG posts 1.3 bln euro loss, cuts schedule

Thu, 22nd Oct 2020 07:26

* Q3 loss of 1.3 bln euros vs consensus of 920 mln

* Cuts Q4 flying schedule to 30% of last year's

* Says liquidity is strong
(Adds background)

By Sarah Young

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - British Airways owner IAG
reported a 1.3 billion euro third-quarter loss on
Thursday as coronavirus restrictions depressed travel, forcing
it to further cut its flying schedule for the rest of the year.

The loss was far larger than the 920 million euros forecast
by analysts, illustrating the scale of the challenge faced by
IAG's new boss Luis Gallego who took over in September.

As a second wave of COVID-19 infections spreads across
Europe, airlines are facing a bleak winter and IAG joins
Lufthansa, Ryanair and easyJet in cutting back already anaemic
schedules.

IAG said on Thursday that for the fourth quarter it would
fly no more than 30% of the capacity it flew a year earlier,
lower than previous guidance of 40%.

With less flying, the group warned it no longer expected to
reach breakeven in terms of net cash flow from operations in the
fourth quarter, but said that liquidity was strong.

The company has raised 2.74 billion euros from shareholders
and received the funds in early October, raising its total
liquidity to 9.3 billion euros.

IAG said third-quarter revenue fell 83% to 1.2 billion euros
in results released a week earlier than expected, saying it was
operating in an environment as "high uncertainty".

German rival Lufthansa also released its results early,
reporting a 1.26 billion euro loss on Tuesday.

IAG said it would provide more detailed results on Oct.30.

(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by James Davey and Jason
Neely)

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