Major airlines face up to likely winter blues

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Three of the world's top airlines faced up to winter blues on Friday (October 30).

With bookings hammered by global lockdowns and travel restrictions, British Airways-owner IAG said it would drive down its cost base.

New CEO Luis Gallego is sticking to a policy of cutting employee and supplier costs to survive low travel numbers.

IAG said it had cut cash operating costs by 54% from original plans to 205 million euros per week - or nearly $240 million - during July-September.

It's a move seen as key to the airline surviving during the winter with very low travel.

Operating loss for the quarter came to about $2.2 billion.

A warning sign about the coming months also came from Air France-KLM.

The carrier unveiled a $1.24 billion quarterly loss Friday.

And it warned of worse to come as new global lockdowns brought fresh travel curbs.

Revenue in the third-quarter fell 67% to just over $2.9 billion.

Like IAG, Air France-KLM plans to reduce costs.

As part of that it will cut 9,000 full-time positions this year - with 4,500 more to go by 2022.

It was no better in Asia for Japan Airlines, either.

Japan's second-largest carrier forecast a record operating loss for the year through to March of between $3.2 to $3.6 billion.

Its overseas flights have been mostly empty this year and domestic bookings around half what they were last year.

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