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Home » IAG Reports Record €1,745m Q3 Profits

IAG Reports Record €1,745m Q3 Profits

    International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Iberia Express, Level, and Vueling, has reported record third-quarter profit with strong trading across the Group and a significantly stronger balance sheet.

    IAG Reports Record Profits Q3
    British Airways Boeing 747 in oneworld livery taxiing at T5, London Heathrow, UK on 09 April 2010 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

    IAG Q3 Highlights

    In the third quarter, the operating profit before exceptional items saw a robust increase to €1,745 million (compared to €1,216 million in Q3 2022). This resulted in an operating margin of 20.2% (up from 16.6% in Q3 2022). Several factors contributed to this growth:

    • IAG’s overall capacity (ASK) increased by 17.9% compared to the previous year, reaching 95.6% of the Q3 2019 levels. The Group’s airlines focused on European holiday destinations and invested in the South and North Atlantic routes, aided by the delivery of 20 aircraft this year.
    • Passenger unit revenue showed a year-on-year increase of 2.2% (24.6% compared to 2019), driven by strong demand for leisure travel.
    • Despite facing disruptions across the business, including the UK NATS systems outage in August, the Group’s non-fuel unit costs for the quarter were 3.5% lower than in Q3 2022. British Airways experienced the majority of these additional costs.
    • Fuel unit costs decreased by 6.2% compared to the previous year.

    IAG strengthened its balance sheet, reducing gross debt by €2.4 billion to €17.2 billion as of September 30, 2023. This was achieved through the early repayment of a £2.0 billion UKEF-backed loan and the repayment on maturity of a €0.5 billion IAG bond. As a result, S&P upgraded IAG and British Airways to Investment Grade.

    Overall, customer bookings for the fourth quarter align with expectations. The Group anticipates a strong recovery in margins, operating profit, and balance sheet in 2023, moving closer to the levels achieved before the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Comments from IAG CEO

    Luis Gallego, International Airlines Group’s CEO, said:  

    “This quarter represents a record third quarter performance for IAG. This is allowing us to invest in the business and reduce a significant amount of our debt.

    “During the third quarter, we saw sustained strong demand across all our routes, in particular the North and South Atlantic and in all leisure destinations around Europe. We continue to develop our hubs of Barcelona, Dublin, London, and Madrid, supported by our fleet deliveries and future orders.

    “Our strong financial performance is enabling investment in our people and allowing us to further improve customer experience. At the same time, we will keep working towards our sustainability goals.

    “We would like to thank all our employees across the Group for their contribution to this performance.” 

    IAG Q3 Financial Summary      

     Nine months to September 30Three months to September 30
    Reported results (€ million)2023 20221202320221
    Total revenue22,229 16,6808,6467,329
    Operating profit3,005 8011,7451,218
    Profit after tax2,151 1991,230853
    Basic earnings per share (€ cents)43.6 4.0
    Cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits29,218 9,599
    Borrowings217,227 19,984
    Alternative performance measures (€ million)2023 20221202320221
    Total revenue before exceptional items22,229 16,6808,6467,329
    Operating profit before exceptional items3,005 7701,7451,216
    Operating margin before exceptional items13.5% 4.6%20.2%16.6%
    Profit after tax before exceptional items2,151 1701,230853
    Adjusted earnings per share (€ cents)40.7 0.4
    Net debt28,009 10,385
    Net debt to EBITDA before exceptional items (times)21.4 3.1
    Total liquidity2,313,697 13,999
    For definitions of Alternative performance measures, refer to the Alternative performance measures section of this report.
    1The 2022 results include a reclassification to conform with the current period presentation for the Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment. There is no impact on the Profit after tax.
    2The prior period comparative is December 31, 2022.
    3Total liquidity includes Cash, cash equivalents and interest-bearing deposits, plus committed and undrawn general and overdraft facilities and aircraft-specific financing facilities.

    IAG Q3 Strategic Highlights

    Trading and network

    IAG enjoyed record profit and high margins in the third quarter of 2023, driven by very strong leisure demand across all Group airlines.

    Aer Lingus

    Aer Lingus total revenue increased by 16%, driving strong profit growth and operating margins of 25.5% despite cost headwinds. Capacity increased by 15% across both long-haul and short-haul over the summer, with the largest long-haul schedule ever. Next year, Aer Lingus will also return to Minneapolis and fly a new route to Denver. Premium leisure on the transatlantic network was particularly strong, driving record load factors in business cabins.

    British Airways

    British Airways‘ total revenue grew by 20% in the quarter, on capacity growth of 25%, particularly through strong leisure demand. Profits increased by 50% year-on-year as capacity increases drove strong non-fuel unit cost performance (-7.6%), despite disruption costs. Operating profit was £617 million, and the operating margin was 15.3%. Capacity growth focused on increased frequencies, higher gauge aircraft, and rebuilding the Asian network. British Airways recently announced the resumption of flights to Abu Dhabi in 2024. Further investment in stabilizing operations, despite a challenging external environment and supply chain constraints, and a more resilient performance are expected over the winter.


    Strong trading across the network at Iberia has driven an increase in total revenue of 19%, with capacity growth of 18% and passenger unit revenue growth of 5%, with leisure continuing to be strong and corporate travel mainly recovered to pre-Covid levels. Profit increased by 76% to €449 million and margins to 23.1%. Continued network investment in the strong and growing Latin American and Caribbean markets and the announcement of the new Doha route as a gateway to Asia. Transformation initiatives deliver exceptional on-time performance, cost control, and better aircraft utilization and maintenance.


    Vueling delivered a record operating profit (€282 million) and margin for the quarter of 26.1%. Transformation initiatives drive strong performance across all areas: higher load factors at 94% and ancillary revenue of €29 per passenger; robust cost control to offset inflationary headwinds; and on-time performance 9 percentage points higher than Q3 2019. Vueling is maintaining capacity at 2019 levels while negotiations continue with pilots towards agreeing a sustainable collective agreement, with a cabin crew agreement secured earlier in the third quarter.

    Avios Loyalty Program

    Loyalty continued to drive good revenue growth in Q3 2023 as total revenue increased by 57%. The quarter was the highest ever for Avios issued and redeemed by customers and a record quarter where 1.3 million customers joined IAG programs. This was supported by the continuing roll-out of program enhancements, including a tranche of “Avios-only” flights for summer 2024.

    IAG Cargo

    The air cargo business continues to see revenue and profit declines as industry supply exceeds needs, reducing demand for air freight. Cargo yields remain above 2019 levels.

    Other Developments for IAG in Q3

    The Group’s balance sheet continues to strengthen as IAG returns to normal levels of profitability.

    • IAG’s net debt has reduced by €3.1 billion year-on-year to €8.0 billion (September 30, 2022: €11.1 billion) and the group’s leverage was 1.4 times at September 30, 2023 (September 30, 2022: 4.4x).
    • The Group has also reduced its gross debt (September 30, 2023: €17.2 billion; June 30, 2023: €19.6 billion): in the quarter, the Group repaid its £2 billion (€2.3 billion) UK Export Finance-backed loan as well as a €500 million IAG bond.
    • S&P has upgraded IAG and British Airways to investment-grade status at BBB- with a stable outlook.
    • The Group’s fleet deliveries continue to be on schedule. During the nine months to September 30, 2023, the Group has taken delivery of 20 aircraft as it replaces both its long-haul and short-haul fleets. This comprised 12 narrowbody aircraft across all airlines and 8 widebody aircraft for British Airways and Iberia.
    • As announced at the half-year results on July 28, 2023, the Group has also ordered more aircraft for future delivery to support its network growth strategy: six Boeing 787-10s for British Airways and one Airbus A350-900 for Iberia.
    • IAG is actively monitoring and managing the situation with regard to metal powder contamination in Pratt & Whitney (P&W) GTF engines. The Group currently has 32 aircraft that fall within the scope of the issues that P&W has raised (less than 10% of IAG’s short-haul fleet) and is taking steps to mitigate the prospective time out of service of those aircraft over the next three years.
    • The Group has now secured wage agreements with most employee groups, including all Iberia teams and cabin crew at Aer Lingus, British Airways, and Vueling. IAG’s proposal to the British Airways pilots is currently subject to a ballot having been recommended by BALPA. Discussions are ongoing with pilots at Vueling, as well as pilots and maintenance teams at Aer Lingus.

    IAG Trading Outlook

    • IAG expects that full year 2023 capacity will reach around 96% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

    • The overall customer bookings for Q4 are on track, with roughly 75% of the fourth quarter’s passenger revenue already secured.

    • Despite maintaining a strong outlook for forward bookings, the Group remains cautious of external factors such as macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainties, that may impact the remaining months of this year.

    • Anticipated non-fuel unit costs for the full year 2023 are expected to improve between 6% to 10% compared to 2022, with the Group aiming for the lower end of this range due to increased disruptions.

    • Based on current fuel prices and considering that 73% of hedging is in place for the fourth quarter, the total fuel costs for the full year are estimated to be around €7.6 billion.

    • The Group foresees a sustainable generation of free cash flow this year, and by the end of December 31, 2023, the net debt is expected to reflect the usual seasonal increase in the fourth quarter.

    *Jet fuel forward prices as of October 26, 2023


    Nine months to September 30 Three months to September 30
    € million202320221Higher/(lower)202320221Higher/(lower)
    Passenger revenue19,51714,02039.2 %7,7336,41620.5 %
    Cargo revenue8661,216(28.8)%263373(29.5)%
    Other revenue1,8461,44427.8 %65054020.4 %
    Total revenue22,22916,68033.3 %8,6467,32918.0 %
    Employee costs3,9853,41716.6 %1,3751,25010.0 %
    Fuel, oil costs and emissions charges5,5794,40026.8 %2,0291,83410.6 %
    Handling, catering and other operating costs2,8912,14334.9 %1,09582133.4 %
    Landing fees and en-route charges1,7621,39126.7 %65854421.0 %
    Engineering and other aircraft costs1,8621,50723.6 %65457913.0 %
    Property, IT and other costs78867017.6 %27323516.2 %
    Selling costs85167126.8 %27322919.2 %
    Depreciation, amortisation and impairment1,5081,531(1.5)%5255161.7 %
    Net (gain)/loss on sale of property, plant and equipment(15)(31)(51.6)%2(10)nm
    Currency differences13180(92.8)%17113(85.0)%
    Total expenditure on operations19,22415,87921.1 %6,9016,11112.9 %
    Operating profit3,005801nm1,7451,21843.3 %
    Finance costs(867)(723)19.9 %(302)(243)24.3 %
    Finance income28511nm1188nm
    Net change in fair value of financial instruments132nm132nm
    Net financing credit relating to pensions7719nm266nm
    Net currency retranslation credits/(charges)64(305)nm(85)(108)(21.3)%
    Other non-operating credits51231(77.9)%63126(50.0)%
    Total net non-operating costs(390)(635)(38.6)%(167)(209)(20.1)%
    Profit before tax2,615166nm1,5781,00956.4 %
    Profit after tax for the period2,151199nm1,23085344.2 %
    1The 2022 results include a reclassification to conform with the current period presentation for the Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment within Operating profit. Accordingly, for the nine month and three month periods to September 30, 2022, the Group has reclassified €31 million and €10 million, respectively, of gains from Other non-operating credits to Expenditure on operations. There is no impact on the Profit after tax.


    All figures in the tables below are before exceptional items. Refer to the alternative performance measures section for further details.

    Nine months to September 30 Three months to September 30
    Before exceptional items Before exceptional items
    € million202320221Higher/(lower) 202320221Higher/(lower)
    Passenger revenue19,51714,02039.2 % 7,7336,41620.5 %
    Cargo revenue8661,216(28.8)% 263373(29.5)%
    Other revenue1,8461,44427.8 % 65054020.4 %
    Total revenue22,22916,68033.3 % 8,6467,32918.0 %
    Employee costs3,9853,41716.6 % 1,3751,25010.0 %
    Fuel, oil costs and emissions charges5,5794,40026.8 % 2,0291,83410.6 %
    Handling, catering and other operating costs2,8912,14334.9 % 1,09582133.4 %
    Landing fees and en-route charges1,7621,39126.7 % 65854421.0 %
    Engineering and other aircraft costs1,8621,50723.6 % 65457913.0 %
    Property, IT and other costs78869313.7 % 27323516.2 %
    Selling costs85167126.8 % 27322919.2 %
    Depreciation, amortisation and impairment1,5081,539(2.0)% 5255181.4 %
    Net (gain)/loss on sale of property, plant and equipment(15)(31)(51.6)% 2(10)nm
    Currency differences13180(92.8)% 17113(85.0)%
    Total expenditure on operations19,22415,91020.8 % 6,9016,11312.9 %
    Operating profit3,005770nm 1,7451,21643.5 %
    Finance costs(867)(723)19.9 % (302)(243)24.3 %
    Finance income28511nm 1188nm
    Net change in fair value of financial instruments132nm 132nm
    Net financing credit relating to pensions7719nm 266nm
    Net currency retranslation credits/(charges)64(305)nm (85)(108)(21.3)%
    Other non-operating credits51231(77.9)% 63126(50.0)%
    Total net non-operating costs(390)(635)(38.6)% (167)(209)(20.1)%
    Profit before tax2,615135nm 1,5781,00756.7 %
    Tax(464)35nm (348)(154)nm
    Profit after tax for the period2,151170nm 1,23085344.2 %
     Operating figures202320221Higher/(lower)202320221Higher/(lower)
    Available seat kilometres (ASK million)242,293192,54425.8 %88,25974,83417.9 %
    Revenue passenger kilometres (RPK million)208,079156,62432.9 %78,49465,07820.6 %
    Seat factor (per cent)85.981.34.6pts88.987.01.9pts
    Passenger numbers (thousands)87,54869,50426.0 %33,24129,53512.5 %
    Cargo tonne kilometres (CTK million)3,3622,89016.3 %1,13895119.7 %
    Sold cargo tonnes (thousands)4394077.9 %1451329.8 %
    Sectors538,413456,83717.9 %196,377179,4699.4 %
    Block hours (hours)1,605,6941,308,31822.7 %587,584511,59914.9 %
    Aircraft in service5735523.8 %n/an/an/a
    Passenger revenue per RPK (€ cents)9.388.954.8 %9.859.86(0.1)%
    Passenger revenue per ASK (€ cents)8.067.2810.6 %8.768.572.2 %
    Cargo revenue per CTK (€ cents)25.7642.08(38.8)%23.1139.22(41.1)%
    Fuel cost per ASK (€ cents)2.302.290.8 %2.302.45(6.2)%
    Non-fuel costs per ASK (€ cents)5.635.98(5.8)%5.525.72(3.5)%
    Total cost per ASK (€ cents)7.938.26(4.0)%7.828.17(4.3)%
    1The 2022 results include a reclassification to conform with the current period presentation for the Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment within Operating profit. Accordingly, for the nine month and three month periods to September 30, 2022, the Group has reclassified €31 million and €10 million, respectively, of gains from Other non-operating credits to Expenditure on operations. There is no impact on the Profit after tax.

    Developments since the last IAG report (July 28, 2023).

    In August 2023, the Group extended the availability period for its Revolving Credit Facility. This facility is valued at $1.755 billion and can be accessed by British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus. The extension means the facility will be available until March 2025, followed by a reduced amount until March 2026. As of September 30, 2023, no funds had been withdrawn from this facility.

    On September 28, 2023, British Airways fully repaid a syndicated loan of £2.0 billion (€2.3 billion). This loan was partially guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF). After the repayment, British Airways entered a new facility worth £1.0 billion (€1.2 billion): the Export Development Guarantee Facility. This facility is also partially guaranteed by UKEF and will be available until September 2028. Additionally, British Airways has an existing £1.0 billion Export Development Guarantee Facility, accessible until November 2026. As of September 30, 2023, both facilities remained unused.

    Basis of preparation

    As of September 30, 2023, the Group had a total of €13,697 million in liquidity. This includes €9,218 million in cash, cash equivalents, interest-bearing deposits, and €4,479 million in committed and undrawn general and overdraft facilities.

    To ensure the Group can keep operating for at least the next 12 months, IAG did a thorough assessment known as the going concern analysis. This involved creating different scenarios, including a worst-case scenario. After carefully reviewing these scenarios, the Directors concluded that the Group has enough money to cover its expenses for the next year. So, the IAG will continue preparing the financial statements, assuming that the Group will keep operating for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2023.

    Principal risks and uncertainties

    The Group constantly monitors various risks to ensure the safety and stability of its operations. While no new major risks have been identified, the Group has observed changes in certain areas, such as the aviation sector’s supply chain resilience. External threats include inflation, higher supply chain costs, geopolitical tensions, air traffic control issues, and government policies impacting airlines. The management is actively working to mitigate these risks and increase resilience. The Board reviews and challenges the management on risk management and implements plans accordingly. In addition, the Group considers regulatory, competitor, and governmental responses when addressing these risks.

    Based on the risks identified in the 2022 Annual report and accounts, the following risks have been identified as major concerns that the Group focuses on due to their potential impact.

    Brand and customer trust

    Having a reliable and efficient operation is crucial for customer satisfaction and trust. This includes delivering products and services on time, providing excellent service, and ensuring smooth travel experiences. The Group understands the impact of external factors, such as air traffic control issues or staff shortages, which can cause disruptions. To address this, the Group continuously improves its ability to manage and minimize disruptions. All of the Group’s airlines are committed to assisting their customers during any disruptions, including adjusting schedules if necessary. Additionally, they are constantly working on enhancing their cabin experience and overall service to ensure customers confidently choose their airlines.

    Critical third parties in the supply chain 

    The aviation industry faces challenges due to disruptions in global supply chains. This has led to delays in aircraft deliveries and availability of essential components. Additionally, there have been issues with employee strikes in certain airport services, particularly at London Heathrow. Air traffic control restrictions and strikes have also caused further disruptions. These delays and supply chain problems have affected operations, resulting in longer turnaround times for aircraft. The IAG team is working with suppliers to assess potential disruptions and find solutions to mitigate their impact on their services.

    Cyber attack and data security

    The risk of ransomware attacks targeting critical infrastructure and services remains significant. The Group is actively addressing this threat by enhancing its cyber security measures, implementing IT transformation, and strengthening monitoring tools. Additionally, the Group is focusing on assessing and managing the potential risks associated with its suppliers.

    Economic, political and regulatory environment

    The rise in commodity and wage costs is impacting the economy, leading to inflation and changes in interest rates. To control inflation, governments may need to lower demand, which could result in reduced travel expenses for individuals as the cost of borrowing increases. Additionally, proposed pricing caps by European governments may limit the ability to set prices and adjust capacity freely.

    IT systems and IT infrastructure

    The Group depends on its systems to ensure smooth customer operations and business processes. However, there are risks associated with these systems, such as poor performance, obsolescence, or failure. To address these risks, the Group is actively undertaking programs to modernize its capabilities and enhance customer experiences. This includes using agile-based models to introduce new commercial features and customer-centric improvements. Additionally, the Group is working on upgrading its core IT infrastructure and enhancing network connectivity and redundancy. To ensure smooth transitions and minimize disruptions, measures prioritizing operational stability and resilience have been incorporated into all plans for implementing IT system changes.

    Operational resilience

    Ongoing labor shortages, particularly for engineers, industrial unrest and strike action in the aviation sector, shortages in the supply chain and airspace, and ATC restrictions can all impact the operational environment of the Group’s airlines as well as the operations of the businesses on which the Group relies. The Group continues its ambitious IT infrastructure transformation agenda to modernize and digitalize its IT estates. The Group is focused on minimizing unplanned outages or customer disruption with additional resilience built into the airlines’ networks.

    People, culture, and employee relations 

    IAG values its people’s dedication, enthusiasm, and openness to change. Their hard work is greatly appreciated, especially given the ongoing challenges faced by IAG airlines. IAG understands the importance of nurturing the growth and development of new employees and addressing any cultural adjustments that come with a large-scale onboarding process. However, a shortage of licensed engineers with aircraft experience in the aviation industry impacts maintenance schedules and potentially affects morale. To address this, the Group invests in apprenticeship programs and initiatives to attract and train more engineers. It is also actively engaged with unions to ensure fair and sustainable agreements that address concerns raised during negotiations.

    Sustainable aviation

    The effort to reduce carbon emissions in aviation has led to different policies and support for environmentally friendly initiatives in the regions where the Group airlines operate. However, there is still a lack of infrastructure and availability of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which may cause the Group’s airlines to be more affected by mandates and taxes compared to their competitors.

    Operating and market environment

    In the first nine months of 2023, the average jet fuel price was $873 per metric tonne, 22 percent lower than the average price in 2022. Fuel prices during this period fluctuated, reaching a peak of $1,142 per metric tonne in January, dropping to $769 per tonne by June, and rising again to $1,055 per tonne by September. Conversely, in 2022, fuel prices experienced a significant increase due to the conflict in Ukraine, peaking at $1,236 per metric tonne in June before declining to $965 per metric tonne in September.

    The US dollar experienced fluctuations in exchange rates against the euro and pound sterling in the first nine months of 2023. Overall, these fluctuations resulted in a favorable impact of €50 million for the Group compared to the same period in 2022. The impact varied throughout the quarters, with an initial adverse impact in the first quarter followed by favorable impacts in the second and third quarters.

    The financial performance of the Group is influenced by fluctuations in exchange rates, especially the US dollar, euro, and pound sterling. The impact of these fluctuations is managed through hedging. In the first nine months of this year, the net effect of transactions on the operating result was favorable, increasing revenues by €65 million and reducing costs by €16 million. When converting financial results from pound sterling to euro, translation exchange rates also affect the overall results. In the same period, the translation impact was €31 million adverse. These comparisons are based on the first nine months of this year compared to the same period last year and include exceptional items.

    Capacity and passenger traffic

    During the first nine months of 2023, the Group has been steadily increasing its passenger capacity after the major reductions caused by COVID-19. Currently, the passenger capacity is almost back to the levels seen in 2019. Comparing the first nine months of 2023 to the same period in 2022, there has been a 25.8% increase in IAG capacity, which was heavily impacted by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, especially in January and February. However, compared to the pre-pandemic period of 2019, the passenger capacity is just 5.3% lower. The passenger load factor for the nine-month period was 85.9%, showing a 4.6-point increase from the previous year and a 1.2-point increase from the same period in 2019.

    Summary of passenger capacity and load factor by region

    ASKs higher/(lower)Passenger load factor
    Nine months to September 30, 2023vs 2022vs 2019 (%)higher/(lower)vs 2022higher/(lower)vs 2019
    Domestic8.9%8.3%89.8 4.4 pts 2.0 pts
    Europe17.6% (5.1%)86.5 5.0 pts 2.7 pts
    North America27.8%3.1%83.6 5.0 pts(0.4) pts
    Latin America and Caribbean17.4% (3.9%)88.2 4.0 pts 1.6 pts
    Africa, Middle East and South Asia41.6%2.1%83.6 3.1 pts 0.5 pts
    Asia Pacificnm (60.4%)89.3 7.2 pts 3.7 pts
    Total network25.8% (5.3%)85.9 4.6 pts 1.2 pts

    In the table above, we can see that the main reason for the capacity shortfall until 2019 is the slow recovery of capacity in the Asia Pacific region due to the delayed easing of COVID-19 restrictions. However, British Airways has taken steps to address this issue by increasing its flights to the region in 2023. The airline has already resumed services to Shanghai and Beijing during the summer travel season and has also added more flights to Hong Kong and Tokyo Haneda.


    In the first nine months of 2022, passenger revenue increased by €5,497 million, reaching €19,517 million. This growth was driven by a 25.8% increase in capacity operated, as well as a 4.6-point increase in the passenger load factor. Passenger yields per revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) also rose by 4.8%. Overall, passenger unit revenue (passenger revenue per ASK) was 10.6% higher compared to the previous year and 20.6% higher than the same period in 2019. While leisure traffic performed exceptionally well, corporate traffic showed a slower recovery.

    On the other hand, cargo revenue decreased by €350 million to €866 million. However, the cargo carried, measured in cargo tonne kilometers (CTKs), increased by 16.3%. Cargo yields, on the other hand, decreased by 38.8% compared to the previous year. This decline was influenced by a significant increase in global passenger airline capacity and a decrease in market demand due to changing macroeconomic conditions. Despite these challenges, cargo revenue was up by €41 million (5.0%) compared to the same period in 2019, and cargo yields increased by 29.5% compared to 2019, despite weaker market demand and reduced cargo capacity from the Asia Pacific region.

    Additionally, other revenue increased by €402 million, totaling €1,846 million. This growth can be attributed to the expansion of IAG Loyalty, as well as the recovery in Iberia’s third-party maintenance business and BA Holidays. Overall, other revenue increased by 32.9% compared to the first nine months of 2019.


    The increase in capacity by 25.8% compared to 2022 affected costs. IAG’s total expenditure on operations was 21.1% higher than last year, but non-fuel costs per ASK decreased by 5.8%.

    Employee costs went up by €568 million compared to the first nine months of 2022, reaching €3,985 million. This increase is due to the growth in airline operations and the corresponding increase in employee numbers, along with pay raises. However, when considering the per ASK unit basis, employee costs actually decreased by 7.3%.

    Fuel, oil costs, and emissions charges rose by €1,179 million to €5,579 million. This increase is primarily due to the higher capacity IAG airlines operated during this period. Although fuel prices also increased significantly, IAG was able to mitigate the impact through hedging gains. However, the sustained increase in fuel prices since the start of 2022 resulted in small net hedging costs. On a per ASK basis, fuel, oil costs, and emissions charges went up by 0.8%. It is worth noting that IAG’s investment in more fuel-efficient aircraft has helped to keep fuel costs in check.

    Supplier costs increased by €1,605 million to €8,167 million. This increase is mainly attributed to the higher capacity operated, inflationary increases, and disruption costs. However, procurement initiatives partially offset these costs. On a per ASK basis, supplier costs decreased by 1.4%.

    Depreciation, amortization, and impairment costs amounted to €1,508 million during the first nine months. Additionally, IAG gained €15 million from selling property, plant, and equipment, mainly from disposing of retired aircraft and related spare parts. On a per ASK basis, ownership costs (which include depreciation, amortization, and impairment costs, as well as the net gain from selling property, plant, and equipment) decreased by 21.3%.

    Operating result

    During the first nine months of the year, the Group’s operating profit significantly improved. It amounted to €3,005 million, which is €2,204 million higher than the operating profit of €801 million recorded in the same period of 2022. When excluding exceptional items, the operating result showed a notable improvement of €2,235 million compared to the first nine months of 2022.

    To provide a clearer breakdown, let’s look at the operating results of the Group’s main operating companies for both the nine-month period and the third quarter.

    Operating Result Table Nine Months (through September 30)

    Nine months to September 30
    2023 higher/(lower)% of 2019 capacity
    Operating profit/(loss) before exceptional items, € million, and passenger capacity (ASKs)20232022120192 vs 20221vs 20192(ASKs) operated
    British Airways1,320461,5671,274(247)89.6
    Aer Lingus23656247180(11)103.4
    IAG Loyalty24921514834101n/a
    Other Group companies1(5)(78)679n/a
    Total Group3,0057702,5012,23550494.7
    Three months to September 30
    2023 higher/(lower)% of 2019 capacity
    Operating profit/(loss) before exceptional items, € million, and passenger capacity (ASKs)20232022120192vs 20221vs 20192(ASKs) operated
    British Airways718482710236892.4
    Aer Lingus1961391695727103.1
    IAG Loyalty8963502639n/a
    Other Group companies1118(10)(7)21n/a
    Total Group1,7451,2161,41352933295.6
    1Figures for 2022 restated for change in classification of the Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment within Operating profit to conform with the 2023 presentation.
    2Figures for 2019 adjusted for impact of change to accounting for pension administration costs for British Airways in 2021 and the change in classification of Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment within Operating profit to conform with the 2023 presentation.

    BA Slower Capacity Restoration

    British Airways has experienced slower capacity restoration compared to other airlines due to the retirement of its Boeing 747-400 fleet in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asia Pacific region has also seen a slower recovery. On the other hand, both Iberia and Vueling have performed well in the first nine months of 2023, surpassing their operating profit from 2019. IAG Loyalty has seen an increase in the number of members collecting Avios, the Group’s loyalty currency, and has significantly increased its operating profit compared to the same period in 2019.

    Exceptional items

    During the first nine months of 2023, there were no major events of significance. However, in the same period of 2022, some interesting things happened. One highlight was the Group receiving a credit of €23 million due to the European Commission reversing a fine initially imposed on British Airways in 2010. Another positive development was a credit of €8 million, the partial reversal of aircraft impairments made in 2020. If you’re looking for more detailed information, you can refer to the Alternative Performance Measures section.

    Net non-operating costs, taxation and profit after tax

    In summary, the net non-operating costs for the first nine months of 2023 decreased compared to the same period in 2022. This reduction was mainly due to lower net finance costs and a shift from currency retranslation charges to credits. There was no significant change in the fair value of financial instruments, and other non-operating credits were lower in 2023. The tax charge for the period was €464 million, resulting in an effective tax rate of 18%. Most of the Group’s activities are taxed in the UK, Spain, and Ireland, with different tax rates in each jurisdiction. The profit after tax for the first nine months of 2023 was €2,151 million, a significant increase compared to the previous year.

    Cash, debt and liquidity

    The Group’s cash balance decreased by €381 million from December 31, 2022, mainly due to debt repayments. Additionally, the Group received 20 aircraft and obtained financing for 19 aircraft during the nine months.

    Number of aircraftDelivered in the nine months to September 30, 2023Of which financed in the nine months to September 30, 2023Aircraft delivered in 2022 and financed in 2023
    Airbus A320neo (British Airways)112
    Airbus A320neo (Iberia)2
    Airbus A320neo (Aer Lingus)11
    Airbus A321neo (Iberia)42
    Airbus A321neo (Vueling)44
    Airbus A350-900 (Iberia)32
    Airbus A350-1000 (British Airways)323
    Boeing 787-10 (British Airways)22

    IAG Aircraft Financing and Debt

    In 2022, British Airways received five aircraft that were financed in 2023. As of December 31, 2022, the financing for these aircraft was secured but not drawn. The Group has various options available to finance future aircraft deliveries. At September 30, 2023, the Group’s total borrowings amounted to €17,227 million, a decrease of €2,757 million compared to December 31, 2022. This reduction was primarily due to debt repayments, including the early repayment of a loan and the redemption of a bond.

    The Group’s net debt, total borrowings minus cash and equivalents, was €8,009 million on September 30, 2023, a decrease of €2,376 million since December 31, 2022. The decrease was mainly driven by increased cash, resulting from the profitability of forward bookings, partially offset by capital expenditure and net interest. The Group’s EBITDA before exceptional items for the four quarters to September 30, 2023, was €5,529 million. The net debt to EBITDA ratio before exceptional items was 1.4 times.

    Total liquidity at September 30, 2023, was €13,697 million, a decrease of €302 million from December 31, 2022. This change was primarily due to debt repayments. The Group had committed and undrawn facilities of €4,479 million, reflecting an increase compared to December 31, 2022, mainly attributed to a new British Airways facility. There were no committed and undrawn aircraft-specific facilities.


    The Group uses alternative performance measures (APMs) to assess its performance, which are additional to the measures defined under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). These APMs are considered alongside IFRS measurements and are used to gauge the success of the Group’s strategy. No changes have been made to the APM disclosures and treatments during the nine months to September 30, 2023, compared to those stated in the Annual Report and Accounts for the year to December 31, 2022. Each APM is defined and reconciled to the closest measure prepared following IFRS.

    Profit after tax before exceptional items

    Exceptional items are disclosed separately due to their significant size or impact on the financial entity. The management committee and external stakeholders commonly use financial performance on a pre-exceptional basis for evaluating the Group’s operating performance. No exceptional items were recorded in the nine months to September 30, 2023, but in the previous year, exceptional items included changes in fleet plans and legal reimbursements. The table provided reconciles the Group’s statutory income statement with the income statement before exceptional items.

    Nine Months to September 30

    Nine months to September 30
    € millionStatutory 2023Exceptional itemsBefore exceptional items 2023Statutory 20221Exceptional itemsBefore exceptional items 2022
    Passenger revenue19,51719,51714,02014,020
    Cargo revenue8668661,2161,216
    Other revenue1,8461,8461,4441,444
    Total revenue22,22922,22916,68016,680
    Employee costs3,9853,9853,4173,417
    Fuel, oil costs and emissions charges5,5795,5794,4004,400
    Handling, catering and other operating costs2,8912,8912,1432,143
    Landing fees and en-route charges1,7621,7621,3911,391
    Engineering and other aircraft costs1,8621,8621,5071,507
    Property, IT and other costs2788788670(23)693
    Selling costs851851671671
    Depreciation, amortisation and impairment31,5081,5081,531(8)1,539
    Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment(15)(15)(31)(31)
    Currency differences1313180180
    Total expenditure on operations19,22419,22415,879(31)15,910
    Operating profit3,0053,00580131770
    Finance costs(867)(867)(723)(723)
    Finance income2852851111
    Net change in fair value of financial instruments132132
    Net financing credit relating to pensions77771919
    Net currency retranslation charges6464(305)(305)
    Other non-operating credits5151231231
    Total net non-operating costs(390)(390)(635)(635)
    Profit before tax2,6152,61516631135
    Profit after tax for the period2,1512,15119929170

    Three months to September 30

     Three months to September 30
    € millionStatutory 2023Exceptional itemsBefore exceptional items 2023Statutory 20221Exceptional itemsBefore exceptional items 2022
    Passenger revenue7,7337,7336,4166,416
    Cargo revenue263263373373
    Other revenue650650540540
    Total revenue8,6468,6467,3297,329
    Employee costs1,3751,3751,2501,250
    Fuel, oil costs and emissions charges2,0292,0291,8341,834
    Handling, catering and other operating costs1,0951,095821821
    Landing fees and en-route charges658658544544
    Engineering and other aircraft costs654654579579
    Property, IT and other costs273273235235
    Selling costs273273229229
    Depreciation, amortisation and impairment3525525516(2)518
    Net loss/(gain) on sale of property, plant and equipment22(10)(10)
    Currency differences1717113113
    Total expenditure on operations6,9016,9016,111(2)6,113
    Operating profit1,7451,7451,21821,216
    Finance costs(302)(302)(243)(243)
    Finance income11811888
    Net change in fair value of financial instruments131322
    Net financing credit relating to pensions262666
    Net currency retranslation charges(85)(85)(108)(108)
    Other non-operating credits6363126126
    Total net non-operating costs(167)(167)(209)(209)
    Profit before tax1,5781,5781,00921,007
    Profit after tax for the period1,2301,230853853


    The 2022 results report a reclassification of gains from Other non-operating credits to Net (gain)/loss on sale of property, plant, and equipment within Operating expenses. This reclassification amounts to €31 million for the nine-month period and €10 million for the three-month period ending on September 30, 2022. The reclassification does not affect Profit after tax. Further details on each exceptional item can be found below.

    Partial reversal of historical fine

    British Airways received a credit of €23 million after a fine reversal by the European Commission. The fine was initially issued in 2010 due to British Airways’ participation in cartel activity in the air cargo sector. The credit was recorded as an exceptional charge in the income statement and no tax charge was incurred. The cash inflow associated with the fine reversal was recognized in 2022.

    Impairment reversal of fleet and associated assets

    The exceptional impairment reversal of €8 million for the nine months to September 30, 2022, related to six Airbus A320s in Vueling, previously stood down in the fourth quarter of 2020 and subsequently stood up during 2022. The exceptional impairment reversal was recorded within right-of-use assets on the Balance sheet and within Depreciation, amortization, and impairment in the Income statement.

    Adjusted earnings per share (KPI)

    Adjusted earnings are calculated by considering results before exceptional items after tax, adjusting for earnings attributed to equity holders and interest on convertible bonds, and then dividing by the weighted average number of ordinary shares. This calculation also accounts for the dilutive impact of assumed conversions of bonds and outstanding employee share schemes.

    Nine months to September 30
    € million20232022
    Profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent2,151199
    Exceptional items29
    Profit after tax attributable to equity holders of the parent before exceptional items2,151170
    Income statement impact of convertible bonds3(147)
    Adjusted profit2,15423
    Weighted average number of shares used for basic earnings per share4,9384,960
    Weighted average number of shares used for diluted earnings per share5,2895,338
    Basic earnings per share (€ cents)43.64.0
    Basic earnings per share before exceptional items (€ cents)43.63.4
    Adjusted earnings per share (€ cents)40.70.4

    Net debt to EBITDA before exceptional items (KPI)

    The Group uses net debt to EBITDA before exceptional items as a measure to assess its level of net debt in relation to its earnings. This measure helps evaluate the Group’s business performance, monitor leverage, and analyze financial headroom. Net debt is calculated as long-term borrowings minus cash and cash equivalents. EBITDA before exceptional items is the rolling four quarters operating result before exceptional items, interest, taxation, depreciation, amortization, and impairment. This additional measure provides insights into the Group’s financial capacity, profitability, and core operating cash flows.

    € millionNine months to September 30, 2023December 31, 20221
    Interest-bearing long-term borrowings17,22719,984
    Less: Cash and cash equivalents(7,801)(9,196)
    Less: Other current interest-bearing deposits(1,417)(403)
    Net debt8,00910,385
    Operating profit3,4821,278
    Add: Depreciation, amortisation and impairment2,0472,070
    Add: Exceptional items (excluding those reported within Depreciation, amortisation and impairment)(23)
    EBITDA before exceptional items5,5293,325
    Net debt to EBITDA before exceptional items1.43.1
    1The 2022 results include a reclassification to conform with the current period presentation for the Net gain on sale of property, plant and equipment.


    The Board and Management Committee constantly keep an eye on the Group’s liquidity to evaluate how well it can withstand unexpected events and uncertainties. They also come up with strategies to secure funding and maintain the Group’s financial health.

    Analysts, investors, and other users of the financial statements often refer to liquidity as an important indicator of the Group’s resilience.

    In simpler terms, liquidity refers to the combined value of cash, current interest-bearing deposits, and committed general undrawn facilities and aircraft undrawn facilities.

    € million30, 202331, 2022
    Cash and cash equivalents7,8019,196
    Current interest-bearing deposits1,417403
    Committed general undrawn facilities4,4263,231
    Committed aircraft undrawn facilities1,116
    Overdrafts and other facilities5353
    Total liquidity13,69713,999


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