International Airlines Group, formed by the merger of British Airways and Iberia, posted a rise in April traffic, boosted by strong growth in its first and business class travel although performance was offset by strike action in Spain.
Traffic, measured in revenue passenger km, rose by 2.9 percent versus April 2011, while passenger load factor was up 1.9 percentage point at 81.6 percent.
IAG said its first and business-class travel – the most profitable part of its passenger business – rose 4.8 percent, while non-premium traffic was up 2.6 percent.
The company said its Spanish operations were impacted by industrial action with around seven days affected by pilot strikes which hit group capacity by around 2 percent.
The Spanish government last month ordered talks between Iberia and its pilots union to try to resolve a dispute which could impact the peak Spanish tourism season.
IAG said its April traffic results excluded figures from British airline bmi, which it bought in April from Lufthansa.
It said on Thursday it had begun a consultation process that could see bmibaby, bmi’s low cost unit, cease operations in September, after it failed to find a buyer for it.