British Airways has announced that it will partially resume operations in the month of July at a 50 percent capacity.
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airway’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), said its airlines, which also include Ireland’s Aer Lingus and Spain’s Iberia and Vueling, intended to operate about 1,000 flights a day between July and September.
However, the decision to return to full capacity will depend on the government and its measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
To help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, British Airways cancelled 90 percent of its flights. Due to the travel restrictions introduced by the governments across the globe, passenger capacity fell 94% from late March.
Willie Walsh also revealed that the group does not expect to return to full capacity right away, in fact, it does not expect to return to full capacity until 2023.
International Airlines Group is also seeking a £300million loan from the Bank of England to help the airline survive the coronavirus pandemic. This follows British Airways’ last week’s announcement that it would cut 12,000 jobs to save cash in the midst of the global fall in air travel.
According to reports in the media, IAG made a £1.5 billion loss after tax during the first quarter of 2020, compared with a profit of €70m in 2019.
Willie Walsh also revealed that the Heathrow Airport’s plan to build a third runway will now take a back seat. He said, “There isn’t going to be a third runway. If they want to build a third runway they have to acquire Waterside, the British Airways headquarters. I’ll sell it to them tomorrow … but I don’t expect they’ll be rushing to do a deal.”