29 FEBRUARY 2016
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As expected International Airlines Group (IAG) produced a strong quarterly result last Friday (26 February) and for the first time since it was created in 2011 will pay a dividend.
The traditionally strong autumn quarter included for the first time Aer Lingus, joining British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
The figure of £850m after tax was more than 70% more than in the same period a year ago, low fuel prices helping significantly. Air France-KLM and Lufthansa have also produced good figures, in spite of industrial problems.
Chief executive Willie Walsh ruled out any imminent acquisitions for the group, despite rumours it has been considering a bid for Finnair as part of its strategy of consolidation.
Also speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today programme he pointed out that he was not opposed to the expansion of Heathrow but has questioned where the investment is coming from. “[Heathrow] should not look to airlines to pay for something that they won’t be using and won’t be there for 10 years or so," he said.
Last year, in interviews Walsh said that he was “pro-Europe”, adding that he believed the UK is better off within the EU from a business point of view.
However, speaking on Today he was positive on IAG’s prospects, adding "Brexit or no Brexit". Other airline bosses including easyJet and Ryanair are clearly more for staying in. www.iairgroup.com
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