International Airlines Group has reported a loss of €1 billon for the first quarter of 2021 as airlines struggle against government restrictions on travel.
The figure compared to a loss of €1.9 billion for the same period last year, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe.
The group, however, said it had €8 billion in cash on hand at the end of March.
IAG is currently flying around one fifth of the capacity it offered in earl 2019, with an expectation that this will increase to around 25 per cent over the second quarter.
Announcing the results, Luis Gallego, IAG chief executive, called on government to safely reopen travel.
He said: “We’re doing everything in our power to emerge in a stronger competitive position.
“We’re absolutely confident that a safe re-start to travel can happen as shown by the scientific data.”
Gallego said, to ensure safe travel, governments must open travel corridors without restrictions among safe vaccinated destinations, replace quarantine with testing and roll out digital passes for testing documentation.
“These measures will enable a safe re-opening of our skies,” he added.
“Travel underpins a global industry that supports 13 million jobs in Europe alone.
“There’s a high level of pent-up demand and aviation will play a critical role in reconnecting people and getting economies back up and running again.”