BA-owner IAG says U.S. bookings near 2019 levels

Transatlantic bookings have gotten off to a flying start for British Airways owner IAG, after the U.S. reopened its borders to international travellers earlier in November.

Airline group CEO Luis Gallego says bookings for U.S. routes have reached nearly 100% of 2019 levels. And he expects a return to pre-global health crisis flying by 2023.

The strong demand for transatlantic flights will come as welcome news to airlines like BA and Virgin Atlantic, who have pinned their hopes on the reopening of Europe-to-U.S. routes.

The crisis has hit the airlines industry particularly hard, with IAG on-track for a 2021 loss of 3 billion euros, or about $3.4 billion.

But while recovery is in sight, IAG also warns that proposals for Heathrow Airport to hike passenger charges by as much as 50% could stall any bounce-back.

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