Airline forecasts profits surge

The owner of British Airways has said it expects profits to soar over the next four years as it benefits from its merger with Iberia.

The owner of British Airways has said it expects profits to soar over the next four years as it benefits from its merger with Iberia.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which was formed through the merger in January, expects operating profits of €1.5bn in 2015.

The figure – its first target to look this far in advance – compares to forecasts of about €450m for 2011.

Greater than expected cost savings from the merger, efficiencies through buying planes that use less fuel, and organic growth will deliver most of the expected gains.

IAG also plans to snap up smaller airlines as the rising cost of fuel and the squeeze in consumer spending drives consolidation in the industry.

Earlier this month it agreed to buy troubled airline BMI in a move which will increase its hold on the take off and landing slots at Heathrow airport.

IAG shares rose 4% today.

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