IAG November traffic up on British Airways growth

LONDON Wed Dec 5, 2012 10:13am EST

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LONDON Dec 5 (Reuters) - International Airlines Group posted a rise in November traffic, as strong growth at British Airways again made up for weakness at Spain's Iberia.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 3.6 percent versus November 2011, while passenger load factor - a measure of how well it fills its planes - was up 1.9 percentage points at 77.2 percent, it said on Wednesday.

IAG said its first and business-class travel - the most profitable part of its passenger business - rose 4.7 percent, while non-premium traffic was also up 3.4 percent.

British Airways' November traffic was up 7.6 percent compared to a 5.8 percent fall at Iberia.

IAG has seen worsening economic conditions in Spain hit its performance in recent months, undermining strength in long-haul travel out of London.

Iberia's ground and cabin crew last month said they would stage a series of strikes in December, disrupting the holiday travel season to protest against massive job cuts.

IAG last month unveiled plans to axe about 4,500 jobs, or a quarter of Iberia's workforce, and cut capacity in a bid to make it more competitive.

Shares in IAG, which have risen 23 percent in the last three months, were up 0.4 percent at 173.4 pence by 1508 GMT, valuing the group at around 3.2 billion pounds.

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