The International Airlines Group, a merged entity comprising of British Airways and Iberia, reported a first-quarter net profit of €33 million ($48.7 million), reversing a net deficit of €243 million in the year-ago period.
"These are the first-ever IAG results and they show an improved performance compared to last year. Revenue is up due to increased volumes, particularly in the premium cabins, and improved yields, which also showed good premium growth," said IAG CEO Willie Walsh, noting that the group also "achieved a significant reduction in our controllable costs."
Revenue was up 15.4% to €3.64 billion. Total operating costs were up 10.3%, to €3.74 billion.
Fuel costs were up 30.9%, to €1.13 billion and IAG expects its fuel bill for the full year to be about €5.2 billion, roughly €100 million above its previous estimate in February. "Fuel costs remain the big challenge facing the industry," Walsh warned.
First-quarter operating loss was narrowed 57.1% year-over-year to €102 million.
Passenger revenue jumped 14.9% on capacity growth of 9.1% to 51.12 billion ASKs and a 5.2% improvement in RASK to €0.059.