Aer Lingus to increase capacity as passenger numbers fall

Fall occurred in short-haul services while transatlantic rose

Aer Lingus: the airline  cut the number of seats available on all its services by 6.6 per cent in April, which a spokesman said was one of the traditionally slower months for travel and was designed to preserve profitability. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Aer Lingus: the airline cut the number of seats available on all its services by 6.6 per cent in April, which a spokesman said was one of the traditionally slower months for travel and was designed to preserve profitability. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

Aer Lingus will boost capacity on its services from this month after suffering a 41,000 fall in passenger numbers in April. The airline has released figures showing that the number of people who flew with it in April fell by 41,000, or 4.5 per cent, to 823,000, from 862,000 during the same month in 2014.

The fall occurred in its short-haul business where numbers dropped to 710,000 from 751,000. Its transatlantic services enjoyed a slight increase, to 113,000 from 111,000.

Aer Lingus cut the number of seats available on all its services by 6.6 per cent in April, which a spokesman said was one of the traditionally slower months for travel and was designed to preserve profitability. “You will see capacity increase again from May,” he said. The spokesman added that this would include adding one craft to its long-haul fleet, bringing those numbers to 10.

The proportion of seats sold on its craft – known as the load factor – increased to 78.2 per cent in April, from 75.8 per cent during the same month last year.

The number of passengers who flew with Aer Lingus Regional, operated by sub-contractor Stobart Air, tumbled by almost 11 per cent to 100,000, from 112,000. A spokesman for Stobart Air also said that this was down to the carrier cutting capacity during the month. He added that its load factors were up.

Dublin and Shannon airports, meanwhile, were among the best performers of their peers in Europe in during the first quarter, according to the quarterly report from industry body Airports Council International.

Passengers travelling through Dublin rose 18.8 per cent year on year, putting it in the top three of Europe’s group two airports – those handling between 10 million and 25 million a year. Passengers through Shannon were up 42.7 per cent, ranking it fourth in its group – airports with fewer than four million passengers annually.

Meanwhile, Stobart announced that Martin Saxton has been appointed as chief commercial officer, Graeme Buchanan as chief financial officer and Andy Jolly as chief operations officer.

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