The International Airlines Group (IAG), created in 2011 out of British Airways and Iberia, transported more freight last year and improved its revenues. It will cope with Brexit by banking on those elements of the corporation that will remain in the EU.
IAG Cargo generated commercial revenues amounting to EUR 1,173 million in 2018, an increase of 7.2% on 2017 (at constant currency rates). What’s more, its yield for the year was up by 8.1%. Managers based in Madrid, the corporation’s registered office, as well as in London, where IAG’s headquarters are, may thus feel less disappointed by the fact that sold tonnes rose by a ‘mere’ 0.2% and ctk volumes were down by approximately 0.9%. British Airways, the largest component of the conglomerate, reported a 2.3% decline in ftk to 4.4 billion ftk. Iberia, in contrast, managed to improve its figure by 3.4% to 4.144 billion ftk. Ireland’s Aer Lingus (up by 12.3% to 174 million ftk) also developed positively.
Special services helped
IAG Cargo CEO Lynne Embleton was proud that “2018 brought record revenues in a market that became ever more challenging.” Growth in its services ‘constant climate’ (+9%) and ‘critical’ (+35%) contributed to a notable year. IAG Cargo recently opened a 900 sqm facility worth several million euro at Madrid airport, dedicated to solutions focusing on pharmaceutical consignments. It is GDP certified, same as existing centres at London Heathrow and Dublin. IAG Cargo’s Spanish base will help it garner a greater share of the Latin American markets, which some studies have predicted may grow by up to 9% annually through to the year 2028.
Embleton believes 2019 will represent a greater challenge than 2018, as capacities are growing more rapidly than demand. IAG also ordered 42 Boeing B777X units on 28 February. She did not attempt to square the circle by trying to predict the impact of Brexit on IAG.