Aer Lingus loss widens in first half of 2013
But airline reports higher passenger revenue as it increases capacity on its routes
Passenger numbers rose at Aer Lingus in the first half of the year.
Revenue at Aer Lingus rose 5 per cent in the first half of the year as both passengers and revenue per seat grew, but the airline recorded a pretax loss of more than €28 million.
Aer Lingus said the deficit was due to a number of one-off factors including the start-up of the airline’s contract flying operations and planned changes to its long haul fleet.
Operating loss rose by €12 million to €16.4 million
Passenger numbers rose by 1.3 per cent to 4.57 million and load factor increased by 2 points during the period.
However, although short haul routes continued to trade positively, the company noted a weakness in UK routes that had continued in the second quarter.
Aer Lingus is planning to restart its routes between Dublin and San Francisco, which it ended in 2009, from April next year. It will also increase the frequency of services between the east coast of the US and Shannon, and fly directly to Toronto from Dublin.
Chief executive Christoph Muller said the company had reported an “excellent business performance” in the first half of the year.
The second quarter was a particularly strong period for the company , Mr Muller said, with long haul capacity increasing by 16.3 per cent and load factor reaching almost 95 per cent in June.
The airline recently lost a court battle to prevent shareholder Ryanair from making another bid for Aer Lingus until February next year.