IRISH airline Aer Lingus saw a surge in second quarter profits but blamed the effects of industrial action by its cabin crew for overall losses in the first half of the year.
The airline, which is owned in part by the Irish government and Ryanair, posted an operating loss of almost €28m (£24.6m) in the year to 30 June compared with €19m last year.
Following a miserable first quarter when the group made a €15m loss from cabin crew disputes, the second quarter was more positive, with operating profits rising to €25.9m from €18.8m a year earlier.
“While we wont reach the same profit levels we reached in 2010 they will certainly be above what we were expecting in the first quarter,” chief operating officer Stephen Kavanagh told City A.M.
Passenger numbers were up by 8.3 per cent in the second quarter whilst the yield or fare per passenger increased 6.6 per cent.
The group said that while economic conditions in Ireland “remained challenging”, it was confident that a pick-up in bookings and strong trading prospects meant it would recover to post a better than expected full-year operating profit.