BA parent company books huge loss, pushes for digital passes

The parent company of British Airways and Iberia says it lost 6.9 billion euros ($8.3 billion) last year as the pandemic caused a near-total collapse in international air traffic

LONDON -- The parent company of British Airways and Iberia on Friday said it lost 6.9 billion euros ($8.3 billion) last year as the pandemic caused a near-total collapse in international air traffic, and called for digital passes to help revive travel.

IAG's after-tax loss compared with a profit of 1.7 billion euros the year before. Its revenue slumped 70% to 7.8 billion euros ($9.4 billion).

“Our results reflect the serious impact that COVID-19 has had on our business," said CEO Luis Gallego.

The outlook is so uncertain that the company did not provide any targets or estimates for 2021. At the start of this year business remained precarious as many countries extended or introduced new lockdown measures on travel and business.

Passenger capacity at IAG's airlines in 2020 was just 33% of what it was the previous year. In the current quarter, it is estimated at just 20% of what it was in the same period of 2019.