Belfast Telegraph

Airline seeks redundancies in cost-cutting bid

By Caitlin McBride

Aer Lingus is seeking 100 voluntary redundancies as part of an overall cost-analysis project, as it announced a revenue rise in the first three months of 2013.

The airline, in its interim management statement, indicated it delivered an increase in revenue of 3.3% – up to €259.7m (£219m) from €251.5m (£212m) in the first quarter of 2012.

According to Aer Lingus, the increase highlights the need for even further cost-cutting within the organisation.

The airline reported an operating loss before exceptional items of €45.5m (£38.35m) for the three months from January to March, an increase of the €36.1m (£30.4m) in comparison to the same time last year.

In addition, it plans to absorb short haul flights for major European airlines, including Virgin Atlantic and Nova Airlines AB of Sweden in a bid to generate revenue. Expanding the airline's Boeing 757s are also under review.

"This is one of the markets we want to focus on, whether under our own brand, a Virgin Atlantic-type model or simply as a white-tail," said Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller, referring to an unbranded aircraft.

Mr Mueller added: "We are launching a voluntary severance programme, with a goal of reducing headcount by approximately 100 staff by year end."

Belfast Telegraph