BA owner IAG boosts staff by 1,700 to meet summer demand surge

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British Airways has created 1,700 jobs as it gears up for a summer boom allowing its parent company IAG to match last year’s operating profit bonanza of €3.5 billion.

The recruitment drive at BA includes cabin crew and technology professionals to enhance the airline’s digital services. This move follows a 7% increase in capacity as the airline anticipates a surge in summer travel.

IAG reported nearing break-even in the traditionally challenging first quarter of the year, buoyed by increased travel over the early Easter holiday period. While the transatlantic and intra-European markets showed promising recovery, conflicts in regions like Gaza and Ukraine impacted the Middle East and Far East routes.

Despite challenges, IAG narrowed its after-tax loss to €4 million from €87 million in the same period last year. Operating surplus rose from €9 million to €68 million, with revenues reaching €6.42 billion and passenger numbers up by 8.6%.

Luis Gallego, IAG’s CEO, highlighted ongoing transformation initiatives and strong demand, especially during Easter, contributing to positive results. He emphasized the group’s strength in core markets and investments improving punctuality and customer experience.

Gallego expressed confidence in the upcoming summer season, noting sustained high demand for travel. However, challenges persist outside core markets, with revenues affected by conflicts in regions like Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

The group’s debt reduced to €7.4 billion from €9.2 billion due to strong cash flows, despite heavy borrowing during the pandemic. Notably, while BA and Iberia operated profitably, Aer Lingus and Vueling reported losses.

IAG’s shares have recently shown signs of recovery, hitting a near three-year high, reflecting renewed investor confidence in the group’s prospects.

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