BA-owner IAG sees profit flying higher this year

STORY: IAG believes profit could fly up to 90% higher in 2023.

That after its financial performance was much improved last year.

The airline group - which owns British Airways, Vueling and Aer Lingus - forecast operating profit of up to $2.4 billion.

That would be up from the near $1.3 billion it made in 2022.

Last year's result was ahead of analyst expectations, and overturned two years of deep losses during the global health crisis.

But it still leaves income well below pre-crisis levels.

IAG also agreed this week to pay about $424 million to buy the 80% of Air Europa it did not already own.

The deal aims to grow the company's position in Latin America.

Chief Executive Luis Gallego said IAG saw strong forward bookings.

But it was still concerned about global uncertainties.

IAG shares sank over 3% in early European trade.

However, they are up almost a third since the start of the year, lifted by rising optimism over global travel demand.