Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus sets 'breakeven' target as losses slashed

By Nicky Burridge

Aer Lingus has vowed to break even this year after the airline enjoyed a dramatic fall in financial losses.

The company, which is in the middle of a difficult €97m cost-cutting programme, suffered €19m losses for the six months to the end of June, compared to €93m in the same period last year.

Director of communications Declan Kearney said the airline was pleased with the turnaround in losses, but added: "We have a lot more to do. We have a lot of challenges ahead with further cost savings to deliver due to a sluggish domestic demand. We wouldn't be in any way complacent."

He said most staff had backed the cost reductions required but added arbitration talks were taking place with cabin crew.

Mr Kearney said the airline is committed to its Belfast hub but added: "We have yet to reach profitability on a full-year basis but we are confident to get there soon."

A Belfast to Munich route had been stopped in favour of running Belfast to Barcelona all year round, he added.

Chief executive Christoph Mueller said the improvements were significant despite difficulties caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash crisis and sluggish markets.