Aer Lingus ups profit forecast despite strike

AER LINGUS yesterday restored its full-year profit forecast for 2014, now expected to be in line with its €61.1m (£48.3m) operating profit last year, only six weeks after it had warned of a possible drop in profits of up to 20 per cent owing to strike action.

The improved profit outlook came as the Irish flag carrier airline revealed operating profit in the second quarter had risen to €38.7m, a 33 per cent improvement on the same period last year, and its best second quarter profits in five years.

While Aer Lingus did post an operating loss of €9.9m in the first half, this included an estimated €10m hit from strike action, and was a 40 per cent improvement on last year.

Declan Kearney, Aer Lingus communications director, told City A.M. that a major marketing cam­paign and strong summer sale had boosted the airline to counter the impact of the strike by cabin crew.

Aer Lingus also saw strong growth in its long-haul services, with 25 per cent additional capacity deployed in the second quarter sold, as it highlighted the growth of its transatlantic services from Dublin Airport as a major transfer point for passengers from the UK and Europe.

First half revenues were up six per cent to €697.2m as fare revenue per seat rose over five per cent to €89.18.

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