Aer Lingus in profit warning

IRISH airline Aer Lingus may ramp up a controversial cost-cutting plan after confirming profit this year will be significantly below 2010 due to weak demand and higher fuel prices.

Facing constant pressure from Ryanair, Aer Lingus has cut routes, staff and pay to survive and another round of cuts could put it on a fresh collision course with employees.

First-quarter revenues fell by five per cent but average yield per passenger rose by nine per cent due to a cut in poor performing routes and an increased proportion of business travellers.

Chief executive Christoph Mueller said “the level of profitability will be much lower” this year.