Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus numbers hit by weather and capacity cuts

The number of passengers booked to fly with Aer Lingus last month was 25.3% lower than in December 2009 as cuts in the airline's capacity were exacerbated by bad weather.

And it said that 8% of the passengers booked to fly with the carrier last month didn't actually travel with it.

The figures were released as the airline, which flies to nine European destinations from Belfast International Airport, gears up to have all its London Heathrow-bound flights from Dublin operated out of the airport's new Terminal 2 facility from tomorrow.

Aer Lingus said 572,000 passengers were booked to fly on its aircraft during December, with the number of short-haul passengers falling 27.3% to 504,000 and long-haul passenger numbers 6.8% lower year-on-year at 68,000.

Its overall booked load factor was 2.7% better in December, at 74.6%, than it had been in the corresponding month in 2009.

The short-haul booked load factor improved by 3.7% to 73.2% for the month. That was on the back of an almost 32% year-on-year cut in short-haul capacity, which fell due to planned cuts at Dublin, Cork and Gatwick, and the adverse weather conditions.

On long-haul services, the booked load factor slipped 0.2% to 76.6%, with capacity shrinking by 6.6% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, Air France has said snowfall in Europe and the US last month cost it €70m (£58.2m) in lost revenue. It had earlier estimated the snowfalls would cost it in the region of €25m (£20.7m) to €35m (£29.1m).