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LONDONThe British civil aviation giant IAG (International Airlines Group) stated that it anticipates the demand for air travel will continue to be suppressed for several years due to the pandemic and will not reach levels seen in 2019 until at least 2023. 

The group, therefore, took steps to reduce its aircraft fleet and the associated cost of maintenance. During 2020, a significant number of aircraft were temporarily grounded and parked, with the limited operations focused on operating more fuel-efficient newer generation aircraft, where possible.

The group also decided to accelerate the retirement of its older, four-engined long-haul fleet. British Airways retired its fleet of 32 Boeing 747-400 aircraft and Iberia retired its fleet of 15 A340-600 aircraft. Additionally, 37 aircraft were stood down earlier than planned, either pending disposal or return to lessors, bringing the reductions in fleet numbers to 84 aircraft. The group also took delivery of 34 aircraft during the year. The early retirement and stand down of these aircraft led to an exceptional impairment charge of EUR837 million and there was also a EUR108 million exceptional charge related to a write-down of inventory and recognition of the contractual end of lease provisions.


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