Aer Lingus reported a 40% increase in operating profit for the six months to June despite issuing a profit warning only last month.
The Irish carrier said its full-year operating profit should at least match 2013’s following a “significant improvement”. Aer Lingus forecast its annual profits would be 20% lower than expected in June.
However, the airline posted its best second-quarter results for four years yesterday despite a cabin crew strike at the end of May which cost €10 million (£7.9 million).
Aer Lingus reported revenue growth of 6% over the six months and a 1% increase in passenger numbers.
It reported a “creditable short-haul performance in a tough environment”, but said: “Long haul continues to perform very strongly.”
Long-haul passenger numbers rose 24% year on year in the second quarter and average revenue per seat was up almost 9%.
Aer Lingus said: “Management expect [the] full-year 2014 operating profit will be at least in line with 2013.”
Chief executive Christoph Mueller expressed delight, saying: “We sold the 25.3% additional long-haul capacity deployed in Q2 2014 with . . . 5.3% higher long-haul yields.
“We continue to attract more passengers in the North Atlantic transfer market from both European and US locations, most of them through our online booking portal.”
Mueller added: “Improved connectivity via Dublin now allows us to significantly extend our markets into continental Europe while also enabling us to grow further in secondary UK markets from already solid positions.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly