The owner of British Airways and Iberia airlines has announced a quarterly loss of £211m, in the wake of rising fuel costs and an economic crisis in Spain.
International Airlines Group was also hit by industrial action by pilots at Iberia as it recorded losses of 263 million euro (£211 million) for the three months to 31 March, against a deficit of 47 million euro a year earlier.
Strong demand in London and for transatlantic travel lifted revenues at British Airways but the airline's mounting fuel bill meant its operating losses widened to £62 million from £5 million last time.
Iberia's operating loss of 170 million euro (£136.3 million) reflected the airline's worsening performance from its Madrid hub and the strike action, which cost 25 million euro (£20 million) in the quarter but has now been called off.
Fuel costs for the group were up by 25% on a year earlier to 1.4 billion euro (£1.1 billion) and at current levels are on track to increase by more than one billion euro (£802 million) in this financial year.
The group, which recently acquired BMI, said it now expected to break even for the financial year.
Pakistani police officers are seen through the shattered windshield of a vehicle at the site of a blast in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, May 11, 2012. An improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside a manhole, went off on a road in Peshawar on Friday, causing no casualties or injuries. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A woman looks at a painting of French artist So[Co] displayed during an exhibition entitled 'Mythiq' 27' which focuses on artists who died at 27 years old, on May 10, 2012 in Angers, central western France. The event will run from May 11, 2012 to September 16, 2012 as part of the Artaq festival, an urban art festival. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/GettyImages)
A supporter of France's incumbent President and UMP ruling party's candidate for the 2012 presidential election wears a mask representing Nicolas Sarkozy prior a campaign meeting on April 15, 2012 at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. A week before the first round of French presidential election France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on supporters to gather in Paris's iconic Place de la Concorde while socialist candidate Francois Hollande has summoned his backers to a concert outside the Chateau de Vincennes in working-class eastern Paris. (Photo credit: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)
Sacha Baron Cohen arriving at the Dictator UK film premiere held at the Royal Festival Hall, London. (Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Protesters holding placards and shouting anti-China slogans march towards the Chinese consulate at a rally in the financial district of Manila on May 11, 2012. Hundreds of Filipinos demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in the Philippines on May 11, over an escalating territorial row, with the protesters denouncing China's rulers as arrogant bullies. (Photo credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP/GettyImages)
Zhengzhou customs officers show two leopard hides on May 10, 2012 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China. A cargo inspector found two leopard hides in a parcel from Senegal, a country in western Africa, on February 20, 2011. After appraisal, they were panthera parduses, a male and a femal. One hide has 150 cm long, 68 cm wide, and its tail is 86 cm long. The other has 155 cm long, 71 cm wide, and its tail is 95 cm long. The suspect was sentenced to five years in prison with a fine of 20,000 yuan (about 3,100 USD). (Photo credit: ChinaFotoPress)
Visitors watch artworks at the opening of the exhibition Sao Paulo Arts Fair, in Ibirapuera Park, in southern Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo credit: JF DIORIO/AGENCIA ESTADO/AE)
Employee of Confectionery Felicitas GmbH, Nadine Kraemer, presents parts of a chocolate Berlin Wall with colorful motifs in Cottbus, Germany, 10 May 2012. The small parts of the Berlin Wall are handmade and the printed on graffitis are edible. The confectionary is a family business with around 50 employees who process around 400 kg of chocolate daily. (Photo credit: Patrick Pleul)
Dancers wait to participate in a performance by Cuban artist Manuel Mendive, on May 10, 2012, as part of activities of 11th Biennial of Art in Havana. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit: STR/AFP/GettyImages)