Second-quarter profits dip for Aer Lingus

Second-quarter profits dip for Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus saw second-quarter operating profits drop by more than 10% to €34.5 million ahead of its planned takeover by British Airways parent International Airlines Group.

Half-year losses for the six months to June 30 increased to €13.9 million from €9.9 million in the same period last year.

However, the Irish carrier said it was “well positioned” to deliver an improved performance in the key summer period.

Quarterly long-haul revenues rose by 24.4% to €172.5 million, helped by a new Dublin-Washington route and increased frequencies on existing transatlantic services. Short-haul revenues declined by 3.2% to €219.1 million.

Long-haul passenger carryings were up by 10% to 419,000 while short-haul numbers were marginally down by 0.5% to 2.39 million in the three month period.

“The continuation of our demand-led strategy in 2015 will provide greater choice to customers travelling between Ireland, Europe and North America with efficient and easy transfer options,” Aer Lingus said.

The airline reported that 33 full-time staff have left the airline under a cost-saving voluntary severance scheme announced in February, with a further 26 due to leave later this year. This is one of more than 40 projects designed to make savings of €40 million by the end of 2016.

Shareholders in Aer Lingus have until tomorrow to accept the €1.36 billion IAG offer after acceptance was recommended by the airline’s board.

Chief executive, Stephen Kavanagh, said: "I am pleased to report a profitable second quarter with Aer Lingus well positioned to deliver an improved operating performance in the key Q3 trading period and for the full year.

“Passenger, retail and cargo revenues all grew strongly in the quarter. The continued investment in our transatlantic business was rewarded with strong growth in unit revenues.

“The volume active strategy employed in our short haul business delivered stable unit revenue performance in an intensely competitive marketplace.

“The adverse effects of unfavourable foreign exchange movements on performance which were evident in this quarter will moderate in the second half of the year as a result of a higher proportion of US dollar denominated revenues.

“Both short and long-haul capacity are set to expand into the peak season and we are very satisfied with forward yield and load factor profiles at this time.

“Finally, I would like to reiterate the view of the independent directors of Aer Lingus that the combination with IAG will strengthen Aer Lingus and will grow our airline and contribute to growth in the tourism sector and wider Irish economy."

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