British Airways owner says it expects profits to rise by nearly 20 percent this year thanks to strong travel demand and lower costs, adding that it was looking at opportunities left by the collapse of rivals. Ciara Lee reports.
It's been a turbulent year for airlines, with the demise of Air Berlin, Alitalia and Britain's Monarch. But cruising on a higher plane is British Airways owner IAG. It expects profits to rise by nearly 20 percent this year thanks to strong demand in Spain and Latin America. And like Lufthansa, IAG also been eyeing opportunities left by the collapse of rivals. IAG says it's keen to acquire Monarch's airport slots at Gatwick. It's shares dropped on the results, after hitting an all time high on Wednesday. The stock is up nearly 50 percent this year. Third-quarter operating profit rose 20.7 percent to 1.46 billion euros The group, which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling airlines, expects operating profit for the full year to be 3 billion euros.