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IAG Group loss lessens – but so does cargo

LONDON/MADRID: The International Airlines Group (IAG) has reported an after-tax loss of €184 million for Q1 2014 - down from €630 million in the same period past year that included an exceptional item of €311 million.

Iberia at CaracasCargo revenue of €250 million was down 7.4 percent from Q1 2013 as yields fell 7.9 percent to €0.18 cents per tonne-kilometre flown. The group said the result was due to continued excess market capacity and weak yields.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh said the group expected to increase its operating profit by at least €500 million by the end of 2014. "We're pleased that our quarterly operating loss has reduced significantly from €278 million last year to €150 million."

Noting Iberia has almost halved its losses from the first quarter of last year with an operating loss of €111 million compared to €202 million, he said the airline continues to benefit from recent pay and productivity agreements but acknowledged it had been waiting 15 months (aircraft at Caracas airport, right) for Venezuela to repatriate revenue of €184 million blocked by the country's central bank.

Walsh added that British Airways made an operating loss of €5 million in Q1 compared to €72 million in the same period last year due to the increased cost benefits of its A380/B787 fleets.

Oneworld partner American Airlines says its group cargo tonne-miles flown (now including US Airways) rose 12.9 percent in April compared to the same month in 2013 while year-to-date traffic was up 12.2 percent compared to last year. US Airways is now codesharing with British Airways and will soon extend the relationship to Iberia and Finnair as part of the oneworld alliance that also includes Qatar Airways - now providing capacity to IAG Cargo.

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