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Walsh hails strong performance

BA defies IT meltdown as profits soar

Willie Walsh video grab
Walsh: strong performance

British Airways managed to make an operating profit in the first half despite the catastrophic failure of its IT system which grounded flights around the world.

BA made an operating profit of €742m, up from €631m  in 2016.

Airline group IAG, which owns BA and Iberia, reported operating profit of €975m, a 37.3% rise on the €710m during the same six months last year.

IAG said the IT meltdown in May had cost it €66m (£58m). This was less than the £80m cost chief executive Willie Walsh had previously estimated.

He said: “We’re reporting a very strong performance in quarter two with an operating profit of €805m before exceptional items which is up from €555m last year.

“The underlying trend in unit revenue improved, benefitting partially from Easter and a weak base last year. Non-fuel unit costs before exceptional items are up, at constant currency. These costs include the financial impact of the power failure which affected British Airways’ customers.”

He later added: “I know we have had some individual issues and we clearly need to address those and apologise to our customers who were disrupted.

“But the truth is BA’s underlying performance is actually very good, as are the performances of the other airlines within the group, so this is a very strong set of results and reflects a focus that IAG has on providing customer service at prices that customers are willing to pay.”

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