January 7, 2013 / 3:11 PM / 5 years ago

IAG's December traffic edges up on BA strength

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - International Airlines Group posted a slight rise in December traffic, as a robust performance from British Airways again made up for weakness at Spain’s Iberia.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, rose by 0.3 percent versus December 2011, while passenger load factor - a measure of how well it fills its planes - was up 0.5 percentage points at 78.1 percent, it said on Monday.

IAG said its first and business-class travel - the most profitable part of its passenger business - rose 4.6 percent, while non-premium traffic fell 0.4 percent.

British Airways’ December traffic was up 3.9 percent compared to an 8.4 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.

Shares in IAG, which have risen 20 percent in the last three months, were 1.54 percent down at 192.05 pence by 1505 GMT, valuing the group at around 3.7 billion pounds ($5.93 billion).

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