AER LINGUS HAS reported operating losses of €4.4m for the first half of this year – an 83.6 per cent reduction on the first half of last year.
Passenger levels increased 3.4 per cent in H1 2012 compared to the same period of last year, to 4,511,000 passengers. Meanwhile, passenger yields also increased, by 6.3 per cent to €113.70 per passenger.
Total revenue for the first half of this year grew by 10.1 per cent.
The airline said that the 5.8 per cent increase in operating costs to €630.7m was driven by a 29.6 per cent increase in fuel and 8.1 per cent increase in airport charges. The company also spent €4.3m on “advisory fees and other costs” arising from Ryanair’s proposed takeover of Aer Lingus.
The first half of the year is generally a loss-making one for the airline, given seasonal trends in the airline industry.
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller said that the reduction in operating loss “represents a significant improvement over the prior year”.
“These results clearly demonstrate that our strategy of building a leaner and more efficient Aer Lingus is working,” he said in the H1 report.
“We will continue to focus on improving our operational and financial performance during the key summer travel months of 2012. If current trends continue, Aer Lingus’ operating profit, before net exceptional items, for 2012 will be at least that achieved in 2011 (€49.1 million).”
Meanwhile, SIPTU members of Aer Lingus staff have voted in favour of industrial action over ongoing pension contribution concerns.
In its H1 report, Aer Lingus said: “Notwithstanding this ballot, the Group believes that the process being conducted under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission continues to represent the best opportunity for the resolution of issues arising from the shortfall in the Irish Airlines Superannuation Scheme.”