22 FEBRUARY 2010
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IBERIA is likely to make a record loss in 2009 according to reports coming out of Spain, adding fuel to those who see the combined airline with BA as too unwieldy. Iberia's operating loss is estimated at €335m according to analysts' forecasts. In 2008 the airline reported a net profit of €32m. The financial collapse will be attributed by Iberia to the tough global operating environment and high oil prices. Conversely increased competition on the South Atlantic with airlines offering a better product both at the front end and in the tourist class cabin plus the introduction of more European high speed trains will have had its effect. The decision to downgrade the economy service to budget airline standards whilst still charging, in some case premium prices, would have driven traffic away. www.iberia.com
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