Belfast Telegraph

Aer Lingus upbeat after subdued first quarter

Aer Lingus has reported growth in revenues and passenger numbers and a higher operating loss for the first half of the year.

Revenues were up 5% in the second quarter to €657.9m (£575m) with a strong performance in long-haul.

A solid second quarter operating profit of €29.1m (£25.4m) came despite the timing of Easter and weakness on UK routes which has impacted on short haul revenue growth year on year. Aer Lingus had over €1bn (£875m) in gross cash in June 2013.

The airline put a higher operating loss of €16.4m (£14.3m) for the first half down to contract flying start up costs, changes to the long haul fleet, maintenance costs, foreign exchange and weak er trading on UK routes.

CEO Christoph Mueller said: "Aer Lingus is pleased to report an excellent performance for the first half of 2013 with passenger numbers increasing by 1.3%, load factor up two points and growth in fare revenue per seat. Our second quarter revenue performance was particularly strong. We expanded long haul capacity and successfully sold the additional seats. However, the weakness in UK routes in our first quarter has continued in the second."

Belfast Telegraph