During the fourth quarter of 2011 the company posted an improved operating profit of €34 million, despite a heavy impact from fuel prices. Traffic for the year rose by 7.2%, in line with the airlines' hike in capacity, meaning the average load factor stayed stable at 79.1%. Passenger yield increased by 3.6%. IAG chief Willie Walsh said the consolidation had generated net synergies, in costs and revenues, of €74 million - some €64 million above the target - for the first year.
He said there were a "number of uncertainties" over the outlook for 2012. But demand from London "remains strong", said IAG, with "encouraging trends" over the North Atlantic network. But it cautioned that the fuel cost increase could be as high as €1 billion, and the economic problems in Spain and other countries with the euro as their currency will be "a major factor" regarding underlying demand growth.