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INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A.

(IAG)
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Gatwick Airport urges UK to ease travel rules as seeks reprieve from banks

08/13/2021 | 05:27am EDT
FILE PHOTO: A passenger arrives at Gatwick Airport, in Gatwick

LONDON/PARIS, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Britain's Gatwick Airport urged the government to make international travel easier after lockdown restrictions drove it to a first-half loss of 245 million pounds ($338 million) and forced it to ask its banks for a temporary reprieve.

Strict COVID-19 rules during the six months to June 30 meant passenger numbers at Gatwick, usually Britain's second busiest airport, plunged 97% from pre-pandemic levels.

The airport, whose majority owner is France's Vinci alongside minority holder financial investor Global Infrastructure Partners, said it was in talks with its banks over a temporary waiver of its borrowing terms due to the exceptional circumstances affecting air travel.

Bigger rival Heathrow said in July it had also sought a waiver of a debt covenant.

Britain has been slower to reopen travel than the rest of Europe despite its fast vaccination program, prompting heavy criticism from airports as well as airlines like British Airways and easyJet.

Since July, the government has relaxed some rules but expensive COVID-19 tests for many destinations remain in place, and last minute rule changes have deterred travel.

Gatwick said Britain was falling behind its European neighbors, with travel bookings at 16% of their pre-pandemic levels, whereas France and Germany had risen to about 50%.

"Our government needs to act now and remove unnecessary and costly PCR testing requirements for passengers, particularly for those double vaccinated," Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate said in a statement on Friday.

Gatwick, which last year axed staff and cut costs to help it survive, said it expected passenger numbers to recover in the second half of the year.

($1 = 0.7248 pounds) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sarah Young Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EASYJET PLC 2.63% 609.4 Delayed Quote.-26.58%
INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A. 2.30% 159.94 Delayed Quote.0.09%
VINCI 1.89% 91.65 Real-time Quote.10.56%
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Financials
Sales 2021 8 908 M 10 330 M 10 330 M
Net income 2021 -2 927 M -3 394 M -3 394 M
Net Debt 2021 13 157 M 15 258 M 15 258 M
P/E ratio 2021 -2,66x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 7 756 M 10 691 M 8 995 M
EV / Sales 2021 2,35x
EV / Sales 2022 1,07x
Nbr of Employees 50 813
Free-Float 74,5%
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 18
Last Close Price 1,60 €
Average target price 2,61 €
Spread / Average Target 62,9%
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Managers and Directors
Luís Gallego Martín Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Stephen William Lawrence Gunning Chief Financial Officer
Javier Ferrán Larraz Chairman
John Gibbs Chief Information Officer
Alberto Miguel Terol Esteban Senior Independent Director