International Airlines Group reported a high flyer on Friday (30 October), when the British Airways owner revealed that pre-tax profit soared by 43%. Profit took off to €1.1bn (£788m, $1.21bn) between July and September, while revenue jumped by 15.2% to €6.76bn.
"We're reporting strong quarter results with a positive contribution from all of our airlines," chief executive Willie Walsh said. "IAG made an operating profit before exceptional items of €1,250m, up from €900m last year. Our passenger unit revenue showed a better trend than in the second quarter of the year and our cost performance remained strong."
The firm hiked its profit guidance for the full year as well, saying it is likely to generate a profit somewhere between €2.25bn and €2.3bn, up from a previously estimated €2.2bn, largely due to the lower oil price.
In August, after months of talks between parties and negotiations with regulators, IAG finally took over Irish budget airline Aer Lingus.
The firm is set to explain to shareholders what the net effect of the takeover is on cost savings in November. "Aer Lingus made an operating profit of €45m since it joined IAG on 18 August," Walsh said. "While the airline's profitability is seasonal, Aer Lingus is cost-effective and provides a natural gateway to build our business between Europe and North America. It's a great asset for the group."
Aer Lingus was bought from Ryanair, which was told by both CMA (Competition & Markets) and EU Antitrust watchdogs to sell the Irish subsidiary, as it holds too much market share in terms of budget flights.