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Aer Lingus looking to the States for growth

By Colm Kelpie

Published 12/07/2016

Brexit presents opportunities for Aer Lingus said its chief executive
Brexit presents opportunities for Aer Lingus said its chief executive

Any impact on Aer Lingus passenger numbers from the UK into Ireland as a result of the weakened sterling will be offset by greater demand between the US and Britain, chief executive Steven Kavanagh has said.

Mr Kavanagh said that the vote in the UK to leave the European Union presents both opportunities and threats for the carrier.

The value of sterling has plummeted in the wake of the Brexit vote, making it more expensive for UK-based travellers to visit Ireland.

However, Mr Kavanagh said the currency changes and the competitiveness of the dollar versus sterling will also help create demand.

"We will have the ability to backfill some of those seats (vacated by the weakness in sterling versus the euro) by bringing more guests between the US and UK," Mr Kavanagh said.

"For the US, the currency changes and the competitiveness of the dollar versus sterling creates demand and we're very, very confident that we can leverage that demand and grow more services, feeding through Dublin on to our UK services.

"As London may become more difficult from a connecting perspective, we will have deeper links into continental Europe, and we will start to drive more traffic between continental Europe and North America through Dublin," he added.

It comes as David Joyce, the chief executive of General Electric subsidiary GE Aviation, said Brexit will not be "cataclysmic".

"We will all adapt to the change," he told Bloomberg.

"I don't think it's cataclysmic."

Belfast Telegraph

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