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IAG October Passenger Traffic Up 3.2 Pct

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International Airlines Group posted a strong rise in October traffic, as a robust performance from British Airways made up for weakness at Spain's Iberia.

Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers, rose by 3.2 percent versus October 2011, while passenger load factor was up 0.4 percentage points at 80.5 percent, it said on Tuesday.

IAG said its first and business-class travel rose 3.2 percent, while non-premium traffic was also up 3.2 percent.

British Airways' October traffic was up 6.2 percent compared to a 3.7 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.

The group recently said its commercial performance at its Madrid hub has deteriorated further due to the ongoing effects of challenging macroeconomic conditions in Spain and across the wider euro zone, as well as the after-effects of prolonged industrial action.

IAG is due to announce a new restructuring plan, including a swathe of job cuts, for Iberia on Friday, having completed one for British Airways last year.

The Anglo-Spanish group expects under-performing Iberia to push it into a small operating loss for 2012.

(Reuters)