British Airways parent company slashes passenger forecast

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Retired British Airways Boeing 747-400 parked at Cotsworld Airport in Kemble, England, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020. The retirement of the Jumbo Jet fleet was brought forward as a result of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the airline and the aviation sector. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

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LONDON (AP) — The parent company of British Airways has cut its fourth-quarter passenger forecast to just 30% of last year’s level as government restrictions imposed to control a new wave of coronavirus infections reduces demand for flights.

International Airlines Group made the announcement Thursday as it posted a third-quarter operating loss of 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion), compared with a profit of 1.4 billion euros in the same period last year.

The company said it reduced the fourth-quarter passenger forecast because of additional restrictions, including “an increase in local lockdowns and extension of quarantine requirements to travelers from an increasing number of countries.’’

The company said that measures meant to mitigate the disruption, such as pre-departure testing and air corridor arrangements, “have not been adopted by governments as quickly as anticipated.”

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