11/05/2012 05:58 BST | Updated 02/09/2014 12:59 BST

British Airways Owner, International Airlines Group, Announce Huge £211m Quarterly Losses

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.